Once Jiang Le was out of the Divine Warrior Hall, he had chanced upon Yan Ling’Er again. He quickly said to her, “Maiden Ling’Er, I am not familiar with this place. Can you lead me to my friends?”
Yan Ling’Er nodded and simply said, “As you wish.”
Jiang Le followed Ling’Er to another grand building where he could see her making quick enquiries to the other attendants before she said quietly, “They are still in the guest hall.”
Very soon, they had reached another building on another peak. Along the way, Jiang Le was impressed by what he had seen; there were hundreds of protégés practicing their swordplay and fists all over. Moreover it was unreal as the scenery of the mountains and dozens of palace buildings were equally captivating.
Ling’Er said softly, “They should be in there. I will wait here for you. Just in case, you are lost.”
Jiang Le bowed with his hands respectfully, “Thank you Maiden Ling’Er…”
Yan Ling’Er lowered her head and said firmly, “You need not address me as such. I am merely an ordinary attendant. Just Ling’Er will do.”
Jiang Le patted her softly on her shoulder and said, “In my eyes, you are not merely a servant. You are probably my first friend in this place. You don’t mind having me as your friend?”
Yan Ling’Er simply said, “Friend? To an esteem noble such as you? I am just an easily forgettable person.”
Jiang Le said firmly, “Never! You are my friend and I will never forget about you. That is a promise. I swear by the heavens!”
Yan Ling’Er looked at the ground as she said slowly, “As you wish then.”
Jiang Le smiled awkwardly for he could not tell if she was delighted or unhappy. So he said gently to her, “I will be back very soon. Please wait for me. I am sure that we are going to be the best of friends.”
Yan Ling’Er nodded but said nothing.
Jiang Le heaved a soft sigh as he entered the guest hall.
It took him no time to find Qingshuang, Xia Ji and Xue Ji. Even Priest Qu Daoqing was also present.
As soon as Priest Qu Daoqing saw Jiang Le, he immediately greeted excitedly, “Brother Jiang!”
Jiang Le returned the greeting, “Brother Qu!”
Qu Daoqing said, “Brother Jiang is so lucky to have entered the Divine Warrior Hall. I am only in the Gold Hall. Have you met the Celestial Oracle?”
He lowered his voice and whispered, “What does she look like?”
Xue Ji chipped in mischievously, “She must be a beautiful lady!”
Qingshuang growled softly and Xue Ji immediately kept quiet.
Jiang Le smiled bitterly and said, “Not really. She spoke behind a curtain.”
He did not mention that the next time that the Celestial Oracle would see him was going to be in three month time.
Priest Qu Daoqing smiled and said, “It is just a sooner or later thing. You’re her direct protégé disciple and you have plenty of chances.”
Jiang Le smiled weakly, “True, true…”
Qingshuang suddenly said gently, “Jiang Le, we are leaving now.”
Jiang Le was startled, “You’re leaving?”
Qingshuang nodded and said gently, “We’re going to the Sacred Sword Manor to borrow your clan heavenly relic.”
All of a sudden Jiang Le was awkward but he soon regained his composure and said, “I don’t know if my father will allow you but let me write a letter to him. Also, please tell him not to worry about me. Please tell my mother that I am not a filial son at all. And tell my second brother to take care of my parents…alas…”
He was suddenly at a loss on what to say.
It was because he had already known the situation that he was now at. He was now embarking on the path of cultivation and there was no stopping him. He had to practice the Dragon Force, the Perfect Swordplay and the Absolute Heart Intricate Verses. There were celestial opponents that were powerful beyond his imagination and there were martial skills that were out of this world. All these, he was eager to explore and to know.
He knew with a sad heart that he had forever departed from the martial fraternity. From now on, Huangfu Chuiyuan would disappear from the martial fraternity and Jiang Le the celestial practitioner would appear in the celestial fraternity!
Xia Ji looked at Priest Qu Daoqing and said softly, “Farewell, Brother Qu!”
Priest Qu Daoqing was startled and he said quickly, “Maiden Xia, you are also leaving? But you have not recovered. Why don’t you rest here for the time being and I will promise you that I will escort you back…”
Xia Ji interrupted with a soft smile, “My protégé aunt will protect me. My injuries are not too terrible and I can still cope against most of the martial experts. Please don’t worry for me, alright?”
Priest Qu Daoqing was stammering as he said, “I…I think…” but he could find no words to make her stay…
Jiang Le, Qingshuang and Xue Ji were all looking at each other. They could all tell that Priest Qu Daoqing had eyes only for Xia Ji and was particularly attentive to her.
Xia Ji punched Priest Qu Daoqing gently on his chest as she smiled affectionately, “Maybe it is just a short farewell. You are a highly attained celestial practitioner while I am still a lowly attained celestial practitioner. It may be a long time before I can catch up with you. Who knows I may need your help as my guardian to help me to ward off my divine calamities. Will you still help me?”
Priest Qu Daoqing replied solemnly, “No matter how many times, no matter how treacherous it is, I will be there for you.”
Xia Ji and Priest Qu Daoqing looked at each other silently, not saying a word. It seemed that all the others did not exist.
Qingshuang began to walk quietly away and her heart was sorrowful. She thought, “They have just crossed a dangerous line. Don’t they want to ascend as Celestials? Will I be like Xia Ji one of these days?”