Chapter 28: Small City Indeed
There was a beam of light and Ye Jing had re-appeared at the bottom of the heavenly steps suddenly, catching the hundreds of crowd by surprise.
She was holding a hen in her arms but she did not remember what had happened. But her body felt lighter than usual and her perception had even increased.
But suddenly she found herself surrounded by hundreds of people who were asking her what the Heavenly Temple was like.
“She is the one!”
“What did you see at the top?”
“What did the Heavenly Temple look like?”
Xiaofang, Chu Yunfeng, Li’Er, Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er had quickly surrounded her and were stopping the crowd from overwhelming her.
Xiaofang panicky asked her and his eyes were filled with concern, “Are you well? I am so glad to see you again…”
Ye Jing laughed softly as she slowly remembered, “Yes. I’m alright. Let’s leave this place quickly!…”
Li’Er was so happy to see her protégé mistress again that her eyes were wet, “Protégé mistress, we have been waiting for you for so many days…”
Hua Ni’Er and Hua Xie’Er were following Ye Jing tightly and they were hugging her joyfully. They had been very anxious for their benefactor and when she was not around these few days, they were extremely anxious and were at a total loss.
“It is good to see benefactor again. We have thought that we will never see you again.” Ni’Er cried out.
Xie’Er cried, “Or even ascends to the immortal realm as an immortal. We are totally in awe of benefactor when you manage to climb up to the top of the heavenly steps…”
Ye Jing was slightly startled, “I have been away for some days already?”
Eventually she managed to recollect some of the memories that she had on top as they ran swiftly away from the excited crowd.
It took a while before they managed to shake the last of the excited crowd for it was really too hard to miss a stunning maiden like Ye Jing.
They were now far away from the mountains of the Heavenly Temple and in another part of the city.
As Ye Jing composed herself and slowed to a walk, she remembered going to the Heavenly Temple. There, she saw gardens of rare flora and even mastered the Tranquil Spirits that was left behind by the Great Goddess Fantian.
She also met the mythical Heaveness who became her Celestial Teacher. As a reward for entering the Heavenly Temple, she was imparted the Great Emptiness Translucence by the Heaveness. She promised not to tell anyone that she had seen her.
The Heaveness even gave her some extra rewards such as a golden mystic pill and some rare herbs, “Because you have the Eternal Lotus within you, this divine pill and these herbs will not only retain its vitality but will continue to be nurtured by the Eternal Lotus.”
After that it was a total blank. She could not even remember the minute conversations that she had exchanged with the Heaveness but she thought nothing of it. Maybe she was too nervous and overwhelmed by the experiences of meeting her first ever immortal.
In anyway, she felt delighted and spirited as she asked. “Where should we go next?”
Chu Yunfeng smiled weakly, “We should rejoin our main party already and be on our way already.”
Just as Ye Jing was about to protest, she chanced upon Young Master Yun Xinghe and Celestial Yun Chen.
Young Master Yun Xinghe was delighted to bump into Ye Jing. He quickly walked off to greet her, “Your Holy Consort, it seems that we have been dumping into each other everywhere. If it is not fate then I don’t know what it is.”
Xiaofang was secretly unhappy to see Young Master Yun Xinghe. It was because it was too obvious that he was trying to hook onto Ye Jing. But like the rest of Ye Jing’s retinue, he returned a quiet hand bow when he saw him as did Celestial Yun He and his retinue.
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “You again…”
She took a secret glance at Xiaofang for she could feel that he was uncomfortable. Her relationship with Xiaofang was actually secret and not even her mother the Lady Consort Ye knew of their current progress.
When Xiaofang saw her tenderness in her look, he immediately calmed and it was as though she was telling him, “You’ll always be my only one.”
Ni’Er and Xie’Er did not take notice as they were filled with idolatry for Xiaofang, especially when they had heard that Xiaofang was only 17 and much closer to their ages. At 17, he was already an Immortal Celestial, a highly respected celestial ranking. To be able to attain as an Immortal Celestial was already the lofty dreams of many. Higher celestial levels like Golden Celestial and Sacred Saint were the wildest dream and almost the exclusive clubs. Without powerful heritages and fortitude encounters, it was almost to attain with cultivation and talent alone.
They did not know that the Holy Consort had kissed Xiaofang in public. It was something that Xiaofang, Li’Er and Chu Yunfeng did not bring up during their casual chats.
Moreover even Chu Yunfeng and Li’Er did not know that the Holy Consort and Xiaofang were in a serious relationship. From their observations in the past few weeks after leaving the Holy Citadel City, they had seldom seen them talking even.
What they did not know was that Xiaofang and Ye Jing were cultivating the Emotion Divinity and they were basically avoiding each other lest it affected their progression.
At this moment, Young Master Yun Xinghe was thinking; no matter what happened today, he was determined to strike a conversation with Ye Jing and to find the opportunities to be closer to her today.
So he said a random topic, “Have you heard that just a few days ago, something miraculous happened at the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil? A lady was seen completing all the heavenly steps and that had never happened before. I had tried previously but the maximum I could climb was only some 400 odd heavenly steps.”
He had only taken 195 heavenly steps but as he wanted to impress Ye Jing, he had purposely marked up a little.
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “Oh really? That is really impressive…”
“I have heard that the lady was carrying a hen in her arms as well…” All of a sudden Young Master Yun Xinghe saw the hen that was in Ye Jing’s arm…
Ye Jing laughed softly, “I wish that is me. Surely you don’t think that would be me, right? Because I’ve never been there.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe laughed aloud, “Of course not. In order to do so, that lady must be some centuries old freak!”
Ye Jing pretended to smile but she was cursing him within, “I am not any centuries old freak!”
Young Master Yun Xinghe asked, “I wonder if the Holy Consort is…”
He lowered to a whisper, “…going to the Golden Clans Congregation?”
Ye Jing nodded lightly before she asked, “Are you as well?”
Young Master Yun Xinghe whispered cautiously, “Indeed I am. Not just that. I’m storming the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth to seek powerful heritages for further cultivation.”
Ye Jing raised her hand to brush her long braided hair, “That is so impressive.”
When she had raised her hands, Young Master Yun Xinghe was suddenly startled. It was because he had suddenly noticed that she was wearing a precious jade translucence bangle. This was a 9th grade spirit jade and it was extremely precious to cultivators and its value was almost incalculable. And yet she was flaunting with it in the open and not hiding it. There were many cultivators that would rob her just because of these jade bangles even if she was a golden celestial.
“What wrong?” Ye Jing asked when she noticed that Young Master Yun Xinghe was looking at her as she adjusted her attire. She was a little mindful as her robe was too short and revealing.
When she adjusted her attire, Young Master Yun Xinghe was even more startled to see that she had another one of these jade bangle on her other wrist!
He had never expected that the Holy Consort of the weakest patriarch celestial clan would be this wealthy. Moreover he had already heard that Ye Jing possessed an extremely rare heaven-grade extreme negative divine sword and she even had a soul contract with a phoenix saint beast.
He was beginning to see why she was able to attain as a golden celestial despite her young age. Her clan really spared no expenses in grooming her with all its resources and heritages.
Therefore this only made him even more determined to win her over so that he could dominate her. He was already imagining that they would be such an enviable couple and maybe he could even be the future alliance leader of the patriarch clans.
He found himself looking at her exposed curved bosoms on the top as he was taller and her enticing slim body as well as her white pearly legs that stick out of her short robe.
As a young master of the powerful Celestial Sword Clan, he had no lack of beautiful women that had thrown themselves at him. But this was the very first time that he had considered marriage for Ye Jing was simply too enticing to him. The instant that he had seen her, he had been mesmerized by her peerless allure and he was already thinking of her every day.
One thing that still perplexed him was that according to the many trustworthy rumors that had been circulating around, Ye Jing had already accepted the betrothal gifts of Young Master Yuan Chengzhi. The betrothal gifts that included two divine swords were not a small matter and were in fact a great show of sincerity on the part of the Divine Sovereign Clan to have a marriage alliance.
But Ye Jing had strongly denied it.
Could it be that the young Holy Consort Ye Jing was forced to accept this marriage alliance by the Divine Sovereign Clan? After all, she had just taken the leadership position and in need to consolidate her position.
After he had met Ye Jing, he had actually enquired more news about her.
It seemed that her uncle, the Celestial Baitian had plotted to usurp her leadership position and but it was folded with the help of Young Master Yuan Chengzhi.
Because news spread fast in the celestial fraternity, he had also heard some sketchy details on it. But he had never expected that Ye Jing to be a golden celestial at a young age of 22.
He had to double confirm a few times of her age because it was an impossible thing and this had never happened before in the entire history of the celestial fraternity. What was her secret?
Regardless if the rumors of her getting engaged to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi was true or not, he was now determined to get her through any means. And since he had the opportunity to meet up with her just before the Golden Clans congregation, he must admit that providence had really been kind to him.
And he had already thought of a way to get her and that was a pre-emptive possession of her body. While it was not an entire honorary method but he was confident that Ye Jing would fall in love with him.
“Really nothing wrong at all?” Ye Jing asked curiously as she noticed that Young Master Yun Xinghe seemed to be staring at her.
Young Master Yun Xinghe quickly smiled, “Nothing at all. You are really very beautiful today…” He was running out of topics to chat with her and his mind was searching for more stuff to engage her…
Ye Jing did not really want to talk with Young Master Yun Xinghe. Although he looked quite like a refined gentleman and was a scion of a powerful patriarch celestial clan, she had actually thought of him as a little loathsome. She was cautious of his approach as she believed that he had an ulterior motive.
Moreover she had her eyes on Xiaofang only.
“Weird, we can’t seem to find that Demoness Ye Jing anywhere. My scouts didn’t see her leaving the city…oh, here she is!” It was Beitang Ying and she had arrived with dozens of men. Also In her company was the sectarian leader of the Thousands Fragments Sect, Duan Yizong.
Ye Jing growled softly as she thought, “This city is really too small. Why is that everywhere I go, I keep dumping into her. All my festival moods are killed by her.”
Beitang Ying smiled coldly, “I wonder where she goes to. Now I know. She is actually here seducing the young master of the Celestial Sword Clan. She is already engaged to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi and she is still not satisfied. She is really a harlot!”
When Ye Jing heard her taunts, she was actually not moved. It was because of her newly acquired Tranquil Spirits and the Great Emptiness Translucence that gave her a composed mind.
However Chu Yunfeng, Li’Er, Xiaofang, Celestial Yun Chen and Young Master Yun Xinghe was moved to anger as they shouted angrily at the same time, “What did you say?”
Beitang Ying taunts had attracted a great number of crowds and that was her intention. She intended to humiliate Ye Jing and caused her to lose her reputation. This was the price for making her brother to lose his face in public!
So she laughed coldly as she pointed at Ye Jing, “Do you know who she is? She is the Holy Consort of the Holy Citadel City and her name is Ye Jing!”
Almost at once, large mutterings were heard from the crowd of curious onlookers.
Beitang Ying waited briefly for her proclamation to sink in before she hummed coldly, “She is already engaged to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi of the Divine Sovereign Clan but look at her now, behaving so coyly with the Young Master Yun Xinghe of the Celestial Sword Clan. She is stepping her foot on both boats! If she isn’t a shameless harlot then what is she?”
Her words immediately sent indignation to rise among the women in the crowd as they started to point at Ye Jing and calling her shameless.
Young Master Yun Xinghe was naturally unhappy he could also feel that the crowd was pointing fingers at him. He quickly said, “Enough of your slandering. We are from the righteous celestial clans while everyone can tell that you are from the dark celestial clans. It is common knowledge that the dark celestial clans are at odds with the righteous celestial clans. How low can you get!?”
Upon hearing him, the mutterings seemed to have mortified and were not as loud as before.
Beitang Ying hummed coldly, “Unfortunately, many in the celestial fraternity have already heard about their engagement. Since she is already engaged to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi then may I know who are you to her? The only person that has the right to defend her isn’t you but Young Master Yuan Chengzhi who isn’t here now. Since you are so eager to defend her then your relationship with her doesn’t look as simply as it looks. I wonder what will Young Master Yuan Chengzhi thinks about this.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe replied coldly, “Enough of your slanders. This is only the second time that I have met Maiden Ye Jing…”
Beitang Ying interrupted coldly, “Who knows if that is true! Maybe the both of you have arranged to meet in the Tranquil City to avoid suspicion. Unfortunately, you did not expect your affair to be found out.”
As Ye Jing listened to their hot debate, she kept a quiet demeanor. It was because she was more amused than upset. She did not even know that she had been engaged to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi and she knew that Baitang Ying was only venting her anger to hurt her.
She kept her glances on Xiaofang and the many interesting things that the stalls were selling instead.
Xiaofang had wanted to intervene by rebuking Beitang Ying but when he saw that Ye Jing could not be bothered, he had also restrained himself.
Beitang Ying said coldly, “I don’t want to talk to you. I’m talking to that Demoness Ye Jing over there. Why are you so quiet? Are you feeling flustered because I’ve found out your shameless secret? Are you afraid of me? Do you dare to fight with me?”
Ye Jing smiled sweetly, “Supremacy Beitang Ying, I am not arguing with you because I am really afraid of your brother the Monarch Beitang Ze. I am not his match at all. As for you, I am also not your match. So what even if you have won? What pleasure do you get for defeating a nameless person like me?”
Beitang Ying hummed coldly, “I get a lot of pleasure just by slapping you and wasting your cultivation. This is a price for offending the Scarlet Heretic Sect!…”
Ye Jing coolly turned to the crowd and her voice was precise and alluring. “You’ve heard her? I have a feud with the Scarlet Heretic Sect. That is why Supremacy Beitang Ying is after me. Although I am also a golden celestial but I am not skilled in any divine martial skills and is not her match. I am sure that some of you have heard about my feud with the Monarch Beitang Ze a few days ago. I must admit that I’ve used some trickery to win. This unfortunately has caused a tremendous loss of face for the Scarlet Heretic Sect. But what can I do? In a straight fight I can’t hold any ground against the powerful celestials of the Scarlet Heretic Sect. That is why I have to seek the protection of Young Master Yun Xinghe here.”
When she had said that, she had immediately portrayed herself as the weak victim and that it was actually the Scarlet Heretic Sect that was harassing her.
Immediately the crowd began to mutter;
“I have heard of that as well. A few days ago at the slave market…”
“It seems that the Holy Consort of the Holy Citadel City actually has a kind heart and helps liberate the victims…”
“It is probably the dark celestial clans that are causing troubles…”
“No wonder this Beitang Ying is acting so weirdly. Now we know why…”
“Did you hear that the Scarlet Heretic Sect practices a kind of evil cultivation art that suck the negative soul energies of its victims?”
Beitang Ying could sense that the crowd was growing in hostility against her. Even though Tranquil City is a neutral city but most of the populaces were generally biased against the dark celestials.
Ye Jing knew that as long as she kept her composure, there was nothing that Beitang Ying could do to her here.
And that was actually the same conclusion that Beitang Ying had arrived now.
She said coldly, “You can’t hide here forever. I know where you are going and that is where we are going as well.”
With that, she began to march off.
Duan Yizong was smiling with intentions formed as he took a few glances at Ye Jing before he followed after Beitang Ying.
Young Master Yun Xinghe turned to Ye Jing and said, “We have three golden celestials here while they have only two supremacies. If a fight were to break out, we may not lose.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “Please don’t include me or you will really be so disappointed. I can contribute to some fighting strength but I am really not a good fighter. Thanks for putting a word for me but it is goodbye now.”
She was telling the truth. Any one of them had 10-20 times her training time and her common sense told her that if a fight were to break out, Beitang Ying and Duan Yizong would be particularly vicious in their strokes.
Young Master Yun Xinghe was not about to let her off. Suddenly he had an idea, “To avoid complications with the dark celestial clans, may I suggest that we travel together? I have 500 men that are stationed outside. With such a large force, even the dark celestial clans will think twice about ambushing us. What do you think?”
Ye Jing paused in her tracks thoughtfully, “You’re right. It may be a good idea.”
When Chu Yunfeng heard her, he was secretly relief. He had thought that the Holy Consort would immediately reject the suggestion of Young Master Yun Xinghe.
The truth was he was a little fearful of encountering the Scarlet Heretic Sect outside the Tranquil City and somehow he knew that Beitang Ying was trying to seek a battle with them.
While Ye Jing loathed Yun Xinghe but she was not confident that she would not be attacked by Beitang Ying outside. Moreover he had more than twice her numbers outside the city that were waiting for him. As a sectarian leader, she carried the life and death of her protégés with her. If she could avoid unnecessary battles and deaths, she would consider.
Young Master Yun Xinghe was absolutely delighted and he was looking at Celestial Yun Chen with unmasked conceit. Since she had agreed to join his party, the next step of his plan would be to play Ye Jing into his hands and to him, it was as simple as slaughtering a lamb.
Celestial Yun Chen could only guess what Ye Jing’s fate would be. He had watched Young Master Yun Xinghe grew up and was his mentor as well. He knew that Ye Jing would be eaten to the bones by Yun Xinghe. He heaved a soft sigh and thought, “Maybe her fate is much better with our young master than Young Master Yuan Chengzhi of the Divine Sovereign Clan…”