Qu Daoqing said to everyone as he eyed the surrounding woods as he took out a white feather, “We are almost here.”
Jiang Le asked, “What is this?”
Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji were looking at each other curiously for an answer.
Qu Daoqing smiled and explained, “This is the Silvertip Feather. There is an invisible formation in front of us. Without this Silvertip Feather to guide us, we won’t be able the formation. Without entering the formation…”
Jiang Le laughed, “Without entering the formation then we won’t be able to see the celestial portal within and without entering the celestial portal then we won’t be able to reach the Righteous Heaven Clan. Look, you really talk like a long winded old priest.”
Qu Daoqing smiled weakly but he soon lifted his right fingers and said, “We are here.”
Immediately the Silvertip Feather glowed and levitated in front of him!
Qu Daoqing immediately seized back the Silvertip Feather and said, “After me.”
Qingshuang nodded and walked behind him, followed by Jiang Le, Xue Ji and Xia Ji.
To Jiang Le’s surprise, there was a warping sensation and the surrounding woods suddenly become extremely big and tall!
It was as though they had all shrink!
Xue Ji gasped and asked, “Where are we now?”
Qu Daoqing said politely, “We are now in the midst of the Starlight Celestial Formation. Now we have to travel through it and find the portal that will lead us to the Righteous Heaven Clan.”
Jiang Le grinned, “This sounds easy enough.”
Qu Daoqing shook his head, “Not so. It is actually quite treacherous in the Starlight Celestial Formation. There are actually hidden dangers here.”
Jiang Le yawned, “For example, like?”
No sooner had he said that, there was a thunderous roar in the vicinity that shook the very ground!
Jiang Le was startled for he had never heard anything like this before.
He had prided himself as being fearless but this thunderous roar seemed to shake him to his very core!
When he had composed himself and looked in the direction of Qu Daoqing, Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji, he noticed that they were all looking very pale.
Curious, he asked. “What happens to everyone? I am not afraid so why should you be?”
Qingshuang turned and looked at Jiang Le curiously, “You are not affected?”
Xue Ji added as she looked wondrously at Jiang Le, “It is like half of our strength is taken away by that roar…”
Xia Ji said with a tease, “Maybe Brother Jiang Le does not have much celestial strength to begin with.”
Qingshuang thought, “Is it because my Protégé Sister Yueling has given him the Sacred Dragon Blood Divine Pill? That is our clan most precious divine pill. Jiang Le, Jiang Le…do you know how fortunate you are? Protégé Sister Yueling, what have you done…”
Qu Daoqing said with trembling lips as he drawn out his sword, “This has nothing to do with celestial strength. Only those with the highest state of divinity won’t be affected. This is fear and rightly so. A supernatural bestial is approaching us. We must be on our guard immediately.”
Jiang Le drawn out his sword, “What did you just say? You have led us here and now you say we are being attacked?”
Qu Daoqing emotionless face finally had an awkward expression as he said quickly, “The guardian of the celestial formation has always kept this celestial formation safe for its travelers. I really don’t know what is happening…”
Just as he had said that, a monstrous hulk with a faint purple aura around it had burst out of the dense forest covering!
Jiang Le was shocked for he had never seen anything like this before!
He had barely dodged the towering hulk when he noticed that Xia Ji had been flung aside and that Qingshuang had intercepted the hulk’s further attacks.
Qu Daoqing had suddenly spun his sword and his sword had flown from him and had struck the hulk with a tremendous impact!
But the hulk did not even bulge and simply deflected the sword aside!
Jiang Le was startled as he thought, “Isn’t this the legendary flying sword technique of the Virtuous Palace? I have thought that it is only a myth. Interesting…”
But his thoughts soon returned to the fight as he displayed a dozen strokes against the hulk, slashing the hulk in several places!
Qingshuang cried out to everyone, “For some unknown reasons, we are unable to hurt this monster with our weapons, except for Jiang Le.”
It was because only Jiang Le had a divine sword, the Divine Gallantry in his hands.
Xue Ji flashed out of the hulk reach as she panted panicky, “Most of our attacks are futile and its eyes are too difficult to hit. What is this monster?”
Xia Ji limped aside and said, “No good! Maybe we should beat a hasty retreat while there is still time…”
She looked at the ongoing fight; it was only Jiang Le, Qingshuang and Qu Daoqing that were still fighting the maddening monstrous hulk but they were all so engrossed in their fight that none of them were paying any heed to them!
Qingshuang was extremely composed as she searched the monstrous hulk for vulnerable points while Qu Daoqing was displaying one stance after the other. As for Jiang Le, he had imbued his sword with his sword energies and causing agonizing pain to the monstrous hulk. This caused the monstrous hulk to bellow maddening and causing the monster to seek out Jiang Le. But Jiang Le swiftness movement skills were simply too astonishing.
This was the first time that Xue Ji and Xia Ji had seen Jiang Le displaying his swiftness movement skill to his utmost and they were surprised that Jiang Le was not boosting about his swiftness movement skill.
But Xue Ji was soon solemn, “No good. They have not found the monster’s weakness yet and they cannot maintain their strength for too long. If we join in the fight now, we will only be a hindrance to them. What shall we do sister? Is there any way for us to help?”
Jiang Le, Qu Daoqing and Qingshuang were perspiring heavily and even their steps were unsteady now. This monstrous hulk was so strong that they knew that one hit from it would be enough to kill them and they were trying very hard not to be hit by it while trying to overcome it.
Qingshuang could feel that their attacking group was weakening. As she flipped backward, she cried aloud. “Xue, Xia! Flee! We will catch up with you later!”
Xia Ji said weakly, “But protégé aunt…”
But Qingshuang did not hear her as she was back to the fight to support Qu Daoqing and Jiang Le!
Jiang Le had missed two opportunities to attack because he was still thinking whether he should use his secret technique, the Sacred Heaven Beyond Strike. It was because he had two doubts in his mind. Firstly, he was reluctant to display his secret technique in front of the others. Secondly, this monster was invulnerable to his attacks, even with his imbued sword energies that enhanced his physical strikes by several folds and he had doubts if he could even hurt this monster.
The fight with the Desolate Old Man had severely dented his self-confidence and all of a sudden, he was not even sure of his strongest secret technique anymore.
He composed and thought, “No, if I have used my secret technique in this circumstance, I would have perished in the next instant. Am I to perish here?”
He knew that if he were to run now, he would be able to escape but he refused to run. Instead he found himself shouting to Qu Daoqing and Qingshuang, “Flee now! I will be able to hold him a little while longer. This monster is targeting me. There is no time to lose anymore. I may not be able to hold this monster off any longer!”
Qu Daoqing gasped out as he tumbled clumsily after barely fending off the monstrous hulk’s claw attack, “Brother Jiang Le, let me fight with you…there is nothing more dishonorable than running away!”
Qingshuang raised her sword to defend herself as she used her swiftness skill to leap from tree to tree as she continued to attack the monstrous hulk from above, “Jiang Le, I want you to go now! This is a command.”
Jiang Le gasped as he displayed a forward strike against the monstrous hulk, “I refuse to!”
All of a sudden the monstrous hulk stooped down and banged its claws onto the ground, creating a ring of energy shockwaves that struck them all at the same time!
Jiang Le, Qingshuang and Qu Daoqing were all floored onto the ground and had coughed out blood!
Even Xue Ji and Xia Ji were flung further away!
Jiang Le smiled weakly as he struggled to stand up but there was no strength left in him. He turned and looked at Qingshuang, “Now we are all going to die.”
Qingshuang looked at him weakly, “It is alright. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It is our destiny. I’m glad that we are…able to die in battle…together.”
Qu Daoqing coughed out another bout of blood as he looked into the starry heavens above, “I am so fortunate to have two comrades at arms at my death bed. Alas…”
Just as the monstrous hulk had finished creating the shockwave that had fatally injured everyone and was about to make to charge at the fallen group, the monstrous hulk seemed to be lifted by an invisible hand and was thrown with a thunderous impact aside!
When the debris had cleared, an alluring and scantily dressed maiden was seen. She had a tattoo of a red dragon on both her shoulders and appeared to be weaponless.
Jiang Le was startled as he thought, “She did that?”
Qu Daoqing immediately said, “She…is the guardian of the celestial formation!…”
Qingshuang appraised the alluring maiden and muttered, “She is the guardian?…”
Xue Ji and Xia Ji were immediately at their sides and were helping Jiang Le and Qingshuang to stand as they cried out, “Are everyone alright?…”
The alluring maiden stood defiantly in front of the monstrous hulk and said slowly, her melody voice was extremely enticing. “You didn’t know that you are dead the instant that you have seen me, am I right?”
The monstrous hulk obviously was not paying attention to her and had immediately attacked her.
But the alluring maiden simply raised her right palm and struck the bellow of the monstrous hulk as she coolly muttered the name of her palm strike, “Dragon Force.”
Immediately there was a tremendous thunderclap and the monstrous hulk was flung into the air, shocking everyone!
Jiang Le muttered, “With her frail body, she is capable of such unleashing such a tremendous martial force?”
The alluring maiden immediately vanished and appeared in mid-air, tip-toed on the monstrous hulk’s left shoulder as she was heard muttering, “Harker Crossing, Dragon Force.”
When she had muttered “Dragon Force”, she had raised her palm and had struck the head of the monstrous hulk while in mid-air. There was another tremendous crackling sound as the monstrous hulk was sent plummeting onto the ground thunderously!
When she had landed, the monstrous hulk behind her was glowing and it seemed to be disappearing into nothingness.
Jiang Le was astonished by what he had just seen and wondered, “Who is this maiden and what happens to the monster?”
Qu Daoqing bowed weakly with his hands, “Guardian, we thank you for your benevolent aid. Please allow us to offer you our most profound thankfulness.”
Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji too, had also bowed with their hands out of politeness.
They were looking at each other. Qingshuang shook her head to them, indicating that she was unable to tell the stage of celestial divinity that this maiden was at. That could only mean she was on a much higher divinity than Qingshuang was.
Qingshuang was thinking, “If she is of a higher divinity, she should have gray or golden eyes. Why is that her eyes are scarlet?”
Jiang Le was about to bow with his hands as well to thank her when he noticed that the alluring maiden was suddenly next to him and she was staring at him with her scarlet eyes.
This caused Jiang Le to take a step back and the alluring maiden continued to stare at him as she lift her nose to sniff before saying, “Your scene. This can’t be wrong. You have the blood scent of the draconian in you. You are an interesting mortal. No wonder they want you.”
Jiang Le asked weakly, “Who want me? What do you mean…”
The alluring maiden sniffed gently and looked at Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji as she said, “The three of you have the scent too but is not the exact scent as him.”
She smiled gently as she looked at Jiang Le again, “You don’t have to know who the one that want you. You only have to know that I am freed now and it is all thanks to you.”
Jiang Le replied weakly, “You must be joking with me. I don’t even have the strength to protect myself let alone freeing someone as powerful as you. Moreover, I should be the one offering my thanks to you instead for saving our lives.”
Qu Daoqing had never seen the Guardian before and he did not know that the Guardian would be an alluring maiden with such unearthly beauty. He immediately added, “Indeed, indeed! If not for maiden, we would have…”
But the alluring maiden interrupted enticingly, “I have purposely allow that monster to cross your path therefore you do not need to thank me.”
Everyone was startled by this revelation!
Qu Daoqing was the most startled for he had thought that the Guardian mission was to ensure the safety of the travelers through the Starlight Celestial Formation. He stammered and asked, “But why?…”
The alluring maiden smiled mysteriously as though she was reading his thoughts, “Do you think that I am a Guardian through my own free will? As long as I am here, the celestial formation will never end. As long as the celestial formation is here, I will never be freed. Maybe to you, I am the Guardian but I am just the servant of this celestial formation. Since this will be the last time that I will be in the celestial formation, I will like to see the strength of the travelers. But I must say, I am disappointed in what I have seen.”
Qu Daoqing was about to reply angrily after he had realized that it was the Guardian that had nearly cost the group to lose his life when Jiang Le said angrily, “No one has the right to imprison anyone. Maybe if you can tell me who the one that has imprisoned you, even if I am incapable of taking vendetta for you at the moment, I may be able to do so in the future!”
The alluring maiden smiled and her eyes seemed to be glittered, causing the surrounding to glow seemingly. “He is the Heaven and the Heaven is him. Even if you have cultivated for all of eternity, you won’t be able to take vendetta for me. Moreover, according to the pact with him, I am freed today. So it doesn’t matter. Whether I will take vendetta with him is really my own business and not yours.”
Jiang Le patted his chest and said solemnly, “Even if he is the Heaven, I will go against the Heaven and fight him. Should you require my aid in the future, just say so, and I will do my utmost to aid you. This is my promise to you.”
The alluring maiden looked at Jiang Le with amusement, “You’re not upset that you almost got killed earlier and now you offer to aid me unconditionally?”
Jiang Le said, “These are two different matters…”
Xue Ji gasped softly, “What two different matters. If not for her, we would already be killed…”
But Jiang Le drowned out Xue Ji’s voice and said aloud, “We are standing here perfectly in one piece. Moreover, it is also maiden that have saved our lives. I am sure that maiden have your reasons to do so and you have already explained that you are just being curious. That is one matter. As for the one that has imprisoned you, that is another matter. I am just not happy that maiden’s youth is wasted in this celestial formation. If I were you, I would be most unhappy that I would be imprisoned in this accursed celestial formation and helping travelers to fight off monsters after monsters.”
The alluring maiden looked at Jiang Le curiously and asked gently, “What is your name?”
Jiang Le replied, “Jiang is my clan name and Le is my name.”
The alluring maiden smiled gently, “Good. I will try to remember your name.”
Jiang Le smiled weakly before he asked, “However, I still don’t have maiden’s name yet?”
The alluring maiden looked at Jiang Le with pondering eyes and all of a sudden Jiang Le heard a voice in his head, “I am the Desolate Goddess Aurora or Ao for short. My true name is irrelevant for it is too long and you may not even remember it.”
All of a sudden Jiang Le saw intricate energies and strokes of the Dragon Force and Harker Crossing in his mind!
The alluring maiden said enchantingly in his mind, “I have now imparted to you the Harker Crossing and the Dragon Force. If you want to go against the heaven, you will first need some strong skills. This Dragon Force is my secret celestial skill. Got it? You don’t know how fortunate you are.”
Jiang Le was astonished. Even without using the Harker Crossing and the Dragon Force, these two skills seemed to be imprint into him as his second nature and he was suddenly expert in it. He asked, “But how? This is too wondrous and unreal…”
The Desolate Goddess Aurora divine whispered to him, “Do you mean that a goddess like me have to manually tutor someone? I have only need to expend some of my attainment and that can be done.”
Jiang Le was startled, “You are a goddess? You have expended your attainment for me?”
The Desolate Goddess Aurora whispered enchanting, “It is not a great deal.”
Jiang Le asked silently, “Then I ought to pay homage to you as my teacher for imparting me the two martial skills. My respects to my Teacher Aurora!”
The Desolate Goddess Aurora whispered, “Teacher? Your customs are too alien to me. Do as you wish. Martial skills? These are my celestial skills! Do not tell anyone my name!”
Just as he was about to whisper back to her and inquire her for imparting to him the two celestial skills, she had suddenly vanished from sight from the group and reappeared on a hill further away.
Qu Daoqing was startled, “The Guardian has left just like this?”
Jiang Le said, “It is obviously that she doesn’t want to be the Guardian and decides to leave.”
Qu Daoqing looked at Jiang Le as he smiled bitterly before he said, “We should be on our way.”
As they departed, the Desolate Goddess Aurora was looking at them as she said to herself, “This Jiang Le is shrouded in mystery. Why did she take an interest in him? He is just a mortal. It seems that she wants him to reach his destination as soon as possible. And his scent, it is just so familiar and wondrous…”