Chapter 36: Nuer Mountains
Several more weeks had actually passed and now they were within sight of the Nuer Mountains.
Ye Jing appraised the morning sun and were impressed by the scenery of the mountain peaks around here.
Nuer Mountains were located in the center of the Black Borderless Continent and was easier to access for most of the celestial clans. The journey therefore was not as treacherous as Ye Jing thought it would be.
Along the way, they were even followed by dozens of celestial clans who maintain a respectful distance. All the celestial clans seemed to know of the approaching arrival of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth and as they approached closer to the Nuer Mountains, they could see thousands of banners in the day and thousands of torches at night.
Young Master Yun Xinghe had continued to pester her day in and night out but she had never given him an opportunity to be alone with her. She was perplexed, “Why is he so persistent?”
Li’Er quietly approached her and said politely, “Mistress, Saintess Fan has requested for more soul jewels. She says that the ones you’ve given her are insufficient for her use.”
Ye Jing frowned softly, “She is like a bloodsucker. Tell her that the ones that I’ve given her are supposed to last her for a long time. If she thinks that isn’t enough, she can cultivate the spiritual force herself. Why has she not recovered yet? Is she able to walk now?”
The truth was that Ye Jing had not seen her for a full three weeks, leaving Xiaofang and Li’Er to attend to her needs. She really could not want to be bothered with her.
Li’Er shook her head, “No, she hasn’t. But she appears to be recovering quickly although she still refused to eat or drink.”
Ye Jing nodded. Once a celestial practitioner reaches the golden celestial level, there is no need for them to eat or drink anymore and they can simply drew upon the spiritual force in the vicinity to sustain them when they were meditating. That was also one of the main reasons why the Saintess Fan had survived all these years in the cave. She simply did not require any food or water.
She said indifferently, “If she doesn’t want to eat or drink, then sooner or later she will just wither and die. If she has such a death wish then it is her own business. We do not need to bother with that.”
Li’Er said weakly, “It is quite the opposite. She seems to be in a better state than we have first met her.”
Li’Er continued, “I wonder what her background is? She is really giving me the creeps. Every time that I have seen her, I always left with an uneasy feeling.”
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “Li’Er, don’t ask. You only need to remember this. Once she has left us, we will have nothing to do with each other. Alright?”
“Alright.” Li’Er answered but secretly she was still curious. She was about to say something when Young Master Yun Xinghe barged into their presence with Celestial Yun Chen behind him.
He was smiling and there was an excited look in his eyes, “Maiden Ye Jing, how is your morning?”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “As usual. How about you? You seem to be excited about something?”
Young Master Yun Xinghe jovially said, “My father and the other elders of my clan are nearby. I will like to make a formal introduction for you before the start of the Golden Clans Congregation. What do you think?”
Ye Jing declined politely, “This won’t be good. The Holy Citadel City is just a weak patriarch clan and it is nothing compare to the might of the Celestial Sword Clan. Since your father is nearby and we are already quite near the Nuer Mountains, why don’t you join up with your father’s forces?”
Young Master Yun Xinghe smiled, “It is also because my father has specifically instructed me to invite the Holy Consort to a secret meet first to discuss something in advance.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe continued, “My father says that should the Holy Consort decide to come for the meet then he would be willing to give a share of the loot from the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth to you. Moreover, there will be more concessions that are waiting for you.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “Is there such a free thing in the world. Just meeting him, I will get a share of the loot from the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe smiled, “I have told my father how you’ve become the Patriarch of the Tranquil City. You must know that my father has a great enmity against Monarch Beitang Ze and when he has heard that he is now dead, he is so happy that he wants to see you immediately.”
Ye Jing said coldly, “I am not the one that had killed him. He should thank the Celestial Liege instead.”
Then he dropped to a whisper, “Our common foe is the Divine Sovereign Clan. Have you forgotten how Young Master Yuan Chengzhi has so shamelessly led his men to overthrown you? Now that his clan is the host of the Golden Clans Congregation, we will be forced to do his biddings. But if we can form a secret alliance, this will greatly benefit both clans. And you must know that only the Celestial Sword Clan has the power to compete directly with the Divine Sovereign Clan and the Ancient Ascension Sect.”
Celestial Yun Chen added, “We have learnt just recently that it is the Divine Sovereign Clan that is spreading the rumor that you’ve been betrothed to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi and that the Holy Consort has accepted the gift of two divine swords as betrothal gifts. I’ve heard that the Divine Sovereign Clan will be announcing your marriage to Young Master Yuan Chengzhi in front of the entire assembly. Of course we know that this is not the truth and we are willing to help you out.”
Ye Jing trembled as she said coldly, “No wonder that’s why I have been hearing rumors about my engagements with Yuan Chengzhi. So he is the one that has been going around spreading this rumor. This is simply too ridiculous and outrageous.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe was smiling. As soon as he had heard that Ye Jing had denied the engagement, he had sent a flying messenger to his clan elders to ask them to check the reliability of the rumor. True enough, it was a baseless rumor that was spread by the Divine Sovereign Clan but it was also a rumor that everyone also believed in.
If it was not for Ye Jing denying it, he would have also believed that it was the truth. After all, the two divine swords had already been given away and it was even in the hands of Chu Yunfeng and Dugu Fang. It was really difficult for Ye Jing to deny it if she was faced with such an accusation.
Ye Jing sighed softly, “No wonder I’ve such an uneasy feeling. Alright I will go with you. Li’Er, call Xiaofang along.”
Li’Er replied, “Elder Fang is treating ‘someone’ now.”
That someone was of course the Saintess Fan but Ye Jing had forbidden her name to be mentioned by anyone.
Ye Jing said, “Never mind. Ask Elder Chu Yunfeng to follow me with a delegation.”
Li’Er replied, “I will do it now.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe was looking very pleased. It was because he had other plans as well…
Celestial Yun Chen was looking a little weird while they were waiting for Li’Er to return with Elder Chu Yunfeng.
He asked Ye Jing, “Your Holy Consort, I seem to sense a strong aura in your camp. Is there someone that happens to visit?”
Ye Jing casually smiled, “I must have accidentally spilled my soul jewels that I have been preparing for my morning meditation.”
Celestial Yun Chen did not say more but he was having a tingling sensation. It was because this aura had a familiarity in it. It was like someone that he had known in the past. But at this moment, he could not recall it…
It was not just him that had felt a familiar aura.
Fan Yuqing had also felt a familiar aura in the vicinity. She subtly withdrew her aura.
If Ye Jing had seen her appearance now, she would be shocked. It was because she was no longer the frail heavenly maiden but a goddess with peerless alluring beauty.
Over the course of several weeks, she had not only regained her radiance but also her health.
Earlier, Li’Er had wanted to inform Ye Jing of the Saintess Fan condition. When she had seen the alluring beauty of the Saintess Fan after a lapse of two weeks, she was shocked with disbelief. It was just a mere two weeks and she had transformed greatly from a frail heavenly maiden to an astonishing peerless alluring goddess that could melt the hearts of men and women.
Xiaofang who was with her was startled when he had sensed that her aura had suddenly disappeared. “Is anything wrong?” He asked hastily, afraid that it was his treatment that had gone wrong.
Fan Yuqing smiled, “Nothing at all. It is just that I have felt a familiar presence outside. As a precaution so I have withdrawn my aura to conceal myself. It is better that I do not meet with any other familiar faces. After all I don’t want to get any of you into trouble.”
What she had just said was entirely reasonable.
Now that Xiaofang had understood her intentions, he said politely, “I understand now.”
Then he asked, “Is senior able to walk now? Do you want me to take a look?”
Fan Yuqing sketched out her white porcelain legs from the blanket, “Sure. You may examine all you like.”
When Xiaofang saw her uncovered legs, he was flustered and quickly said. “I’m sure that you will recover soon enough. I…I take my leave now.”
Fan Yuqing was shaken in her heart. It was because her astonishing beauty had never failed to entice anyone but this Xiaofang had never taken a straight look at her.
She said gently, “Don’t go yet. I have a question to ask you.”
Xiaofang said respectfully, “I will do my best to answer.”
Fan Yuqing seemed to be looking at a faraway place as she said coldly, “Maybe you may not know her at all. During my time, I did not even such a person has existed until it is too late. Have you heard of a Celestial Dugu Yuehua?”
Xiaofang said curiously, “That is my mother. You know her?”
Fan Yuqing turned to look at Xiaofang, “She…she is your mother?”
Xiaofang nodded, “You know her?”
Fan Yuqing was trembling as she asked, “Where is she now?”
Xiaofang replied, “My mother had ascended to the immortal realm already.”
Fan Yuqing was astonished, “She had already ascended? She is an immortal now?”
Then she slowly regained her composure, “I must admit that she is indeed more talented and luckier than me.”
Then she took a second look at Xiaofang before she turned around, “I’m tired. You may go.”
Xiaofang bowed with his hands before he left, “Senior then I shall take my leave.”
After Xiaofang had left, Fan Yuqing muttered. “Dugu Yuehua, now that you are no longer around then there is no one else to stop me. I have never forgotten that it is you that have crippled me. If it weren’t for you, I might have already ascended to the immortal realm earlier than you. You may have crippled me but your son has restored me. What an irony…”
Until today, she still did not believe how Dugu Yuehua had managed to defeat her. She was a peaked Sacred Saint and she was just a mere upstart golden celestial. The difference between them was like heavens and the earth but Celestial Yuehua had brandished a superior grade heaven-step immortal sword of such astonishing power that she found herself disadvantaged by it.
There were not many immortal weapons around in the first place and if one could possess one then they could be considered as a half-immortal expert already. That was why even though she was a Peaked Sacred Saint, she had found herself at a losing end against a mere Golden Celestial.
The silliest thing about the entire episode was that they had not met previously and had no vendetta against each other. It was just because the Celestial Yuehua was also an astonishing beauty and she had been stirring quite a great deal of attention at a martial assembly. Therefore she had wanted to ‘merely’ teach her a little lesson. But from that point onward, her entire life began to turn upside down!
“Xiaofang…” She muttered.
Her feelings for him were mixed. At first she had wanted to linger longer but when she had heard that he was the son of her most hated enemy, her heart grew cold.
Fan Yuqing levitated and gently touched the ground in the next instant as she put on a golden mask, “Fan Yuqing…Fan Yuqin…from now onward, I am no longer Fan Yuqin but Fan Yuqing. If I do not turn the celestial realm upside down then I am not the Golden Mask Devil Goddess.”