ACO 2

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Chapter 2: Drifting Cloud Peak

On a lofty mountain peak, surrounded by an impossible impasses of mountains and deserts, is a palace. In that palace, dwells the Prophetess of the Drifting Cloud. It is said that anyone that approaches the Prophetess of the Drifting Cloud will be able to exchange with her a secret.

A young man with a sword hanging by his side has calmly walked into the grand hall of the palace, unobstructed by the dozens of young serving maidens that stood serenely as he approaches; it is as though that they have already known that he is coming.

In the middle of the grand hall, an exquisite veiled beautiful lady is in meditation. As he approaches, she slowly lit her eyelids and say, “Welcome to the Drifting Cloud Peak.”

The young man appears to be surprised as he laughs softly, “What an exquisite lady. I have never seen anyone as out of ordinary and like an immortal fairy.” Then he asks, “Then you must be the Prophetess?”

The exquisite beautiful lady gives a gentle smile with her brightening eyes, saying. “Indeed. I’m the Prophetess. A secret for a secret. Speak, what knowledge do you seek but you are expected to pay a worthy secret in weight in exchange for it.”

The young man bows respectfully, “I’m Lu Xiankai. I believe that a day ago, a group of protégés from the Honor Ode Clan has come to this place?”

The exquisite beautiful lady says, “I’m afraid that this is a secret that we’re unable to reveal. The first rule of the Drifting Cloud Peak is not to reveal who our clienteles are.”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “That is not important. I’ve already known who they are for I’ve followed them.”

The exquisite beautiful lady kept quiet before she asks, “What is it that you seek?”

Lu Xiankai says, “That Maiden Xue Yu, I want to know everything about her.”

The exquisite beautiful lady growls softly, “You have come for something so trivial?”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “It is not trivial at all. Also tell me what the current affairs in the lands are now.”

The exquisite beautiful lady looks at Lu Xiankai ponderingly for a while before she says, “Again, you have asked for something so trivial. You have braved untold hardships and dangers just to ask for something so trivial?”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any valuable celestial secrets that I can exchange at the moment.”

The exquisite beautiful lady asks, “So what can you offer?”

Lu Xiankai takes out a map and says, “How about the map of the Great Northern Territories?”

The exquisite beautiful lady takes out the Mirror of Truth and immediately flashes it upon Lu Xiankai before she loses her composure to say, “This…this is really the map of the Great Northern Territories? How do you get it?”

Lu Xiankai laughs softly, “I’ve mapped it myself of course. So, do we have a deal?”

The exquisite beautiful lady shudders and says, “I’m afraid that your map is far more valuable and the exchange won’t be equaled. So the deal cannot be done…”

All of a sudden the exquisite beautiful lady is startled to see that Lu Xiankai is next to her and is lifting her chin with his fingers and loosening her veil as he says gently, “You are a Golden Celestial? It seems that your attainment is even higher than Xue Yu. If you think that your secrets are not equaled, why don’t you give me your golden body instead?”

Immediately all the sword maiden attendants begin to draw their swords as they cry out angrily, “Let go of your hands from the Prophetess!”

The exquisite beautiful lady is stunned by how swift Lu Xiankai has moved. Normally, it is impossible to even move ten paces within her for she is a Golden Celestial; one of the strongest celestials. Suddenly, she felt as though she is naked as he looks down upon her revealing dress.

And when she tries to move, she is unable to move for she seems to be beholden to his charms. Mustering all her will, she gasps. “I’m the Prophetess. I am vowed to celibacy and neutrality…”

Lu Xiankai says gently, “Rules are all man-made and are meant to be broken if necessary, especially if it means serving a necessarily need. Am I right?”

The exquisite beautiful lady stammers as she blushes, “This is an impossible request. I can’t…”

Lu Xiankai interrupts, “Lady, what is your name?”

The exquisite beautiful lady finds herself answering, “Song Ziyun.”

Lu Xiankai says, “Hmm, Lady Song Ziyun. My map for the two requests. Shall we have an exchange then?”

The exquisite beautiful lady blushes before she slowly nods, “Let it be then. Can you please step back a little?”

Lu Xiankai laughs as he straightens himself and walks backward, “Good. I know that Lady Ziyun has an empathy to my cause. Shall we continue then?”

Lady Song Ziyun nods and says, “Xue Yu, Immortal Celestial of the Honor Ode Clan. Unattached but is betrothed to the young master of the Sky Heavens Clan. She has been practicing for three hundred years and is one of the youngest to be an Immortal Celestial at the age of 210. She is the youngest daughter of the grandmaster of the Honor Ode Clan and she has two older brothers.”

She smiles and asks, “May I know why Master Xiankai is so interested in her?”

Lu Xiankai laughs, “That is my secret. You need to pay me a secret to know. How about the current affairs of the realm? Which clans hold the sway nowadays?”

Lady Song Ziyun smiles mysteriously, “Out of the thousands of celestial clans, there are only nine major celestial clans that are able to be called the strongest for all the other celestial clans are aligned to them. They are known as the Patriarch Celestial Clans. These nine major celestial clans all have their fair share of Golden Celestials and Immortal Celestials or else they wouldn’t be at the pinnacle. And the Honor Ode Clan is one of the nine major celestial clans.”

She pauses briefly before adding, “The other eight major celestial clans are the Sky Heavens Clan, Golden Autumn Manor, Divine Sword Clan, Hundred Paths Clan, Invincible Iron Sect, Sacred Dragon Clan, Purple Flowers Sect and the Holy Enigma City. Together, they pull the affairs of the realm. Their rivalries and alliances are many and ever changing.”

Lu Xiankai mutters, “It seems that I can only recognize the Holy Enigma City and maybe even the Sky Heavens Clan. The Sky Heavens Clan is but a small clan back then.”

Lady Song Ziyun looks at Lu Xiankai as she says, “It seems that you’ve been away for a long time then.”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “Indeed, indeed.” With that, he has departed.

Lady Song Ziyun takes a forlorn look at the direction where he had departed before she commands sternly, “Record his name in the celestial scroll. I want our scouts to track his whereabouts.”

Slowly she lifts the map that he has left behind and is even more astonished, “The map that he has left behind has the various celestial resources listed in such detail? Who is he?”

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