ACO 3

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Chapter 3: The Divine Sword

An elegant veiled lady heaves a soft sigh of relief as her group left the dark recesses of the Moon Demon Forest. It had been weeks since they had first entered it and they are glad to see the familiar lofty peaks of the celestial fraternity again.

The elegant veiled lady is Xue Yu, young mistress of the Honor Ode Clan. She looks intently at the rolling clouds below the mountains and stellar light above. Her eyes give a brilliant spark as she turns around to face her group.

Min Juan has also heaves a sigh of relief, “We’re finally outside the boundaries of the Moon Demon Forest now. We should be safe now.” Then she turns to Qiu Shengjun to ask, “Who do you think that Lu Xiankai is?”

Qiu Shengjun is clearly displeased as he replies, “What is wrong with you? Why did you suddenly bring up that man’s name? No matter who he is, I don’t like him at all. It is lucky thing that he did not stay for long or I will surely beat him to a bloody pulp.”

Xue Yu sighs softly, “He is our benefactor after all. Remember that without him, I would have already been killed by that Red Eyes Demon. It is fortunate that we are able to accomplish our mission without any more troubles.”

Min Juan nods quietly, “Out of the twenty-four protégés that we have started off with, only fifteen remains now. This mission is not easy at all.”

Then she smiles, “Mistress, you are the only one in the presence of the Prophetess. What does she look like and can you shed a light on what it is being exchanged?”

Xue Yu replies, “The Prophetess has a quiet demeanor. Forbidden and cold. As for what is being exchanged, this is a secret and I can only answer to the grandmaster.”

Min Juan giggles, “Mistress but I’m really curious…”

“I’m curious to know as well,” a familiar voice interrupts.

A black shadowy figure flashes in front of them, startling them as everyone draws out their swords in alarm.

It is Lu Xiankai and he is smiling broadly to the surprised party, “Hold, hold. I am not your enemy. It is just that I have just heard of a disturbing account of someone wishing to beat me to a pulp.”

Qiu Shengjun points his sword at him as he says angrily, “Have you been following us? How audacious!”

Xue Yu is startled to see Lu Xiankai again. Ever since they had parted, she has been wondering who he is. He had appeared and left before they could question him more. Is he an Enlighten Celestial or an Immortal Celestial?

Xue Yu asks curiously as she cast him a shy look, “Benefactor, it’s you again. How have you been?”

Lu Xiankai smiles as he bows with his hands, “Beautiful maiden, we have met again. You know something. I’m thinking that I may want to join the Honor Ode Clan…”

Qiu Shengjun interrupts angrily, “Wishful thinking!”

Lu Xiankai smiles as he looks at him, “It is just a thought.”

Xue Yu quickly says, “The honor is ours if our clan can have a celestial master such as you to join us.”

Qiu Shengjun mutters unhappily, “Isn’t this like inviting an enemy to be in our midst? Protégé Mistress, I will not advise that. Moreover we do not know his background at all.”

Xue Yu says quietly but sternly, “This is no way to treat our benefactor.”

She quickly smiles at Lu Xiankai and says, “If benefactor does not mind, you may follow us to the Honor Ode Clan. Once we have returned, we will surely extend our fullest hospitality to you. Along the way, we can also take care of one another.”

Lu Xiankai is surprised that he has actually got the invitation to follow them. It is because he had been thinking of how to approach them to follow them. This time, he mutters with hesitation, “Then I offer my thanks…”

Xue Yu smiles, “May we know your celestial rank so that our party can know how to address you?”

There are six ranks to the celestial rank; Practitioner, Master Practitioner, Enlighten Celestial, Immortal Celestial, Golden Celestial and Sacred Saint.

Once a celestial attains the 3rd celestial rank onward, they will also gain honorific titles which represent their status in the celestial fraternity. The titles to be used for addressing these superior celestials are Enlighten Celestial (上仙 ), Immortal Celestial (上神), Great Immortal (尊上) for Golden Celestial and  Great Saint (神尊) for the Sacred Saint.

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly as he says, “Unfortunately, I do not have any celestial energies in my veins and cannot be counted as a celestial fellow.”

Xue Yu is genuinely surprised, “You’re…not a celestial?”

Even her party is startled and they are all muttering among themselves.

Lu Xiankai smiles awkwardly, “I wish I am though. Unfortunately even a lowly celestial will be able to defeat me with their celestial force.”

Xue Yu stares at him in bewilderment. No ordinary man can pierce through the skull of the Red Eyes Demon. Even for a powerful celestial, it is still a monument feat to do so. But he had single handedly killed one. Moreover, he has a divine sword in his hands and a great amount of celestial energies is required to wield a divine sword. In short, only an Enlighten Celestial and above can wield one.

Xue Yu says slowly, blinking her astonished eyes, “Great Celestial, you must be teasing us? In order for you to wield your divine sword to such an expert proficiency, it will require years of celestial practice and divine harmony with it.”

Qiu Shengjun interrupts coldly, “With your level of expertise and a divine sword in your hand, who are you kidding when you are not a celestial?”

Lu Xiankai throws him his beautiful blue scabbard and he is grinning, “Why don’t you take a look? You mean this is a divine sword?”

Qiu Shengjun curiously pulls the sword from its beautiful blue scabbard and is shocked to see that it is but a wooden sword!

He mutters, “This…”

Even Xue Yu and Min Juan are startled for they are expected to see a golden divine sword within the scabbard!

Xue Yu says quietly to Lu Xiankai, “Please show me your pulse.”

Lu Xiankai did as he is told and lifts his hand for her to examine.

Xue Yu suddenly looks at Lu Xiankai with disbelief in her startled eyes as she stammers, “He…really doesn’t have any celestial energies in his veins!”

Min Juan and Qiu Shengjun look at each other with astonishment as they say at the same time, “He is really not a celestial practitioner?”

Lu Xiankai looks at Xue Yu and humbly says, “I know however that you are an Immortal Celestial.”

Xue Yu is startled, “How do you know?”

It is because along the way, she has been concealing her celestial aura and taking care not to display her true level unless under forced circumstances. But she did not remember revealing her celestial aura to Lu Xiankai.

Lu Xiankai says matter of fact, “The Prophetess told me.”

Xue Yu asks, “You have been to the Drifting Cloud Peak?”

Lu Xiankai nods slowly.

Xue Yu appraises him for a few moments before she smiles endearingly, “I’m sure that you do not want to share with us your business there and I am unable to share the same with you. Celestial or mortal, you are welcomed to follow us as our benefactor. Our clan will reward you handsomely when we’ve returned.”

Lu Xiankai smiles and bows with his hands, “Immortal Celestial. Then let me offer my gesture of gratitude in advance first!”

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