Chapter 26: Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil
“This is Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil?” asked Ye Jing.
They were now at the foot of the heavenly steps of the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil and they could see lofty mountains that were covered in mists around them.
The heavenly steps were broad and sketched 60 metres across and each had a height of 15 cm.
The misty air around them was extremely cold and Ye Jing could see hundreds of people ascending to the steps but many of the people had a weird expression on their faces.
Quite a number of the people were even crawling on the steps!
An old priest saw them and he was smiling, “The Heavenly Temple is on top of the heavenly stairs. But unfortunately most won’t be able to make it to the top.”
Ye Jing was intrigued, “Why is that so?”
Even Chu Yunfeng, Li’Er, Xiaofang, Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er were all looking at each other in puzzlement.
The old priest laughed as he looked up the stone steps, “There are 1000 heavenly steps that a person has to scale to reach the very top. Be it mortals or cultivators, few could reach to the very top due to a suppression aura.”
Ye Jing secretly glanced at Xiaofang before she said, “No wonder the expressions on these people on the steps look a little awful. They are struggling to go up. In this case, does this mean that the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil isn’t opened?”
The old priest laughed, “Most actually do not have the intentions to go to the very top. If they can reach the first 300 steps, they are already happy enough. To some of them, it is a yearly pilgrim. To some others, it is a yearly challenge to better themselves. How about you?”
Ye Jing replied, “I am just curious what the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil looks like. I’ve heard that it is one of the main attractions in Tranquil City.”
The old priest laughed, “That is right.”
Xiaofang suddenly asked, “Where does this suppression aura comes from? And it only affects the steps?”
The old priest laughed even louder, “This suppression aura is created by powerful spiritual arrays within this mountain by the Lord Tranquil. It not only affect the steps but to the heavens around here as well.”
Xiaofang could only stare at the steps and said, “He must be a really formidable cultivator.”
Ye Jing asked casually, “If we can walk up to the heavenly steps, do we get any reward from this Lord Tranquil?”
The old priest held his belly and laughed even louder, “No one can really reach the top. Not for thousands of years. As for the Lord Tranquil rewarding you, that is not possible for he had departed for the immortal realm thousands of years ago.”
Ye Jing looked a little disappointed, “So there are no rewards…”
The old priest smiled, “Not exactly. Whoever can reach the top will gain the heart intricacy of the Tranquil Spirits as well as from an insight from the Mirror of the Great Emptiness Translucence.”
Ye Jing probed further, “What is this Tranquil Spirits? Is it powerful?”
The old priest laughed, “It is only a heart intricacy to calm the heart and the spirit for meditation. Are you thinking that it is an earth shaking divine skill?”
Ye Jing and Xiaofang were secretly glancing at each other and silently thinking, “The Tranquil Spirits may be useful for them to overcome their Emotion Divinity!”
So Ye Jing smiled to the old priest, “Thank you! It is really helpful.”
The old priest laughed, “Not at all. Good luck in your climb.”
Li’Er sighed softly, “So it seems that we may not even get to see the grandeur of the Heavenly Temple…”
Ye Jing said, “Don’t worry Li’Er. We will get to see it. I can’t wait to attempt the climbs.”
She had already hopped to the first heavenly step. Immediately she could feel a slight suppression that was upon her.
But she thought nothing of it as she began to take a step at a time.
Xiaofang, Chu Yunfeng, Li’Er, Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er followed right behind her.
When Ye Jing had reached the 200th heavenly steps, she began to slow down her pace and looked at her surroundings. As usual, there were many of the crowd that was looking at her due to her mesmerizing presence but the reason that she had slowed down was because she had noticed that she had reached the border where hundreds of people were struck and were taking a snail pace.
The suppressing aura here must be really imposing already.
When she turned back, she saw that even Chu Yunfeng, Li’Er, Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er were all struggling. Only Xiaofang could keep up with her pace.
She said, “The rest of you take a break here. Xiaofang, follow me.”
She whispered to Yu’Er, who was in her arms. “How about you? Are you comfortable?”
Yu’Er clucked aloud, including that she was alright and moreover it was Jing’Er who was carrying her so she did not even need to expend any efforts at all.
Ye Jing smiled at the fluffy expressions of Yu’Er and continued to walk up the heavenly steps.
Soon she was at the 300th heavenly steps and there was still dozens of people around her. Many were surprised at her rapid ascend even though she was still taking slow steps.
There were more people here that were crawling on the steps than the first 200 heavenly steps.
She took a look at Xiaofang and saw that he had turned pale.
She asked, “Xiaofang, are you alright?”
Xiaofang smiled weakly, “I can still continue. The suppression aura seems to have increased greatly. Why aren’t you affected?”
Ye Jing was wondering the same as well. It was because she did not feel that the suppression aura was getting mightier.
The heavenly steps of the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil required the candidate to be pure at heart. As Ye Jing acted upon her heart often, rather than thinking rationally, she was more pure at heart than most. Her decisions may not always be right but as long as her conscious was clear, she would not think too much. Even when she was so mad and had hated Xiaofang in the past, she would never think of really harming him.
That was why she had mastered the Purity Heart instantly due to her inherent innocent.
By the time that Ye Jing had walked to the 400th heavenly steps, she had taken the lead. A middle age man that she had just overtaken was staring at her and Xiaofang in disbelief. Even though the summit was very cold but he had broken out in cold sweats and he was lying flat on the 390th heavenly steps, aiming to cross the 400th heavenly steps and set a new record.
By now Ye Jing and Xiaofang were attracting hundreds of onlookers as they watched her walked step by step up the heavenly steps.
Ye Jing was like a serene goddess that had descended and she was climbing up the heavenly steps, displaying a surreal dignity and astonishing all the onlookers.
Everyone had frozen on their tracks as they watched a stunning maiden with a hen in her arms as she took slow steps upward.
Even the old priest that was talking to Ye Jing earlier was looking at the heavenly steps in disbelief as he muttered, “Isn’t this the young aristocracy maiden that was talking to me earlier?”
Usually it was impossible for aristocracies to reach the higher levels of the heavenly steps and it was a fact that even the common people in the Tranquil City knew about. That was why the old priest was not expecting Ye Jing and Xiaofang to break any records.
When Ye Jing was at the 520th heavenly steps, she could sense that Xiaofang was trembling hard. After all they were linked by the Dual Cultivation. So she said quietly to him, “Xiaofang, don’t force yourself too hard. Wait for me here. I will be back shortly.”
Xiaofang said almost breathlessly as he tried to shake off the formidable suppression that was weighing over him, “Jing’Er, be very careful!”
Ye Jing smiled, “I will. Don’t worry too much!”
Below, the onlookers were astonished that this young maiden and man would be able to ascend to the 500th heavenly steps. In the past thousand years, there was just a handful that could ascend past the 500th heavenly steps mark.
And today there were two!
Even though the young man had stopped, it was still impressive enough for all the onlookers knew how difficult each step had been. Every step that they had taken, the suppression aura would also increase at the same time.
Chu Yunfeng was looking at distant figure of Xiaofang with disbelief for he was a good 300 heavenly steps ahead of him…
Li’Er, Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er were filled with idiocy for Xiaofang even though he was not able to continue the ascend…
As for Xiaofang, he was filled with admiration for only Ye Jing…
Time passed and when Ye Jing had crossed the 600th heavenly steps, all the onlookers were shouting and clapping!
She seemed to pause briefly, causing everyone to believe that she had reached her limit but it was just a fleeting moment and she continued her slow walk up the heavenly steps.
When she had taken the 700th heavenly steps, thousands had already gathered at the foot of the heavenly steps and everyone was asking who this young maiden may be.
“She did not seem to be slowing down…”
“Is it possible?”
“This has never been accomplished before!”
The old priest was trembling, “The best record was the 689th heavenly steps. She had just broken that record…”
“What is her limit?”
“750th heavenly steps! She is still showing no sign of slowing…”
“This has never happened before. We are witnessing the birth of a miracle today…”
“799th heavenly steps…”
“800th heavenly steps! She has crossed it…”
By the time Ye Jing had taken the 800th heavenly steps, the suppression aura that was upon her was so formidable that she was using all her celestial strength as well as her internal strength just to carry herself forward!
But she did not want to give up so easily.
It was because she was thinking what an interesting place the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil would be. Before her short life was over, she definitely wanted to see it.
It was exactly the same as the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. Even though her mother the Lady Consort Ye had forbid her to enter the place, she was not about to give up any chance of exploring it.
It was as though she had a death wish.
“900th heavenly steps!”
“She has overcome the 900th heavenly steps…”
“Only 100 heavenly steps are left…”
“I have heard that the suppression aura would double every 100 steps. This is not going to be easy.”
As Ye Jing crossed the 900th heavenly steps, she was wobbly and she felt that there was a mountain on her back.
She smiled weakly at Yu’Er and continued to take slow steps up the heavenly steps.
All the onlookers were watching intensely and in great disbelief.
Two hours had passed since this unknown young maiden had crossed the 900th heavenly steps. These two hours that had passed was longer than the time taken for her to walk up from the 1st to the 900th heavenly steps. The difficulty of walking on these heavenly steps could be imagined!
Ye Jing took slow steps and she was almost at the end of her limits. Finally she had crossed the 990 heavenly steps and there were just 10 more heavenly steps that were left.
These 10 heavenly steps would take her another hour for she required 20 minute steps before she could climb a heavenly step.
Finally she had taken the 1000th heavenly steps!
Many of the onlookers had been watching for the past 4 hours and they were astonished that this young maiden had actually reached to the very top. A startling miracle had happened today!
The thousands of onlookers were all shouting and applauding excitingly at the same time!
The old priest at the bottom was staring at Ye Jing for hours, his eyes never leaving her sight. Even though hours had passed but it was as though only a few minutes had passed because it had been so suspenseful.
The minute that Ye Jing had taken the 1000th heavenly steps, the suppression aura that was on her was suddenly lifted.
Ye Jing was suddenly delighted, “Yu’Er, we have reached the pinnacle of the heavenly steps!”
As she straightened her eyes to see what was in front of her, she was astonished to see a beautiful white imposing palace that was amidst the heavy mist that surrounded the top platform.
“Is this the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil?”
All of a sudden there was a rumbling sound that emanated from the white palace and the entire place seemed to shake.
Yu’Er shrieked loudly as she was transformed back into her true phoenix form, startling Ye Jing.
She shrieked a few times to tell Ye Jing that she did not know what had happened either and that an unknown power had forced her to reveal her true form.
Ye Jing quickly used her divine sense ability to reach into the white palace but she was hit with a mental barrier immediately and the backlash caused her to take a few steps back in startled shock. “Who is that?”
A martial voice emanated from the white palace, “Why don’t you come in? You are the first one to be able to ascend here…”
The gates of the white palace were swung opened and a mystic light could be seen from within.
Ye Jing could feel that this weird martial voice was also probing her spiritual inner core at the same time and the martial voice added, “Your soul is indeed pure and you have the aid of the Eternal Lotus. It is no wonder that you are able to overcome the heavenly steps.”
She asked, “How do I address this heavenly master?”
There was a complete silence.
Ye Jing smiled gently to Yu’Er, “Yu’Er, are you afraid? I’m not. If you are not afraid then we shall go in together.”
Yu’Er shrieked loudly and flagged her wings protective over Jing’Er.
Ye Jing nodded, “Let’s go in. If there are demons, we shall slay the demons together!”