Chapter 37: Celestial Sword Clan
The main camps of the Celestial Sword Clan were impressive. After all there were more than 5000 protégés of the Celestial Sword Clan around. The martial aura of the numerous celestial experts that were in the camp automatically formed a natural defensive array against the desolate monsters. Even an 8th rank desolate monster like the Tyrant Behemoth would not think of attacking this camp!
Under the escort of the Young Master Yun Xinghe and Celestial Yun Chen, Ye Jing was soon inside the camp as Li’Er and Chu Yunfeng followed her with their small delegation.
There were a lot of impressive mutterings inside the camps of the Celestial Sword Clan as the sight of Ye Jing with her alluring beauty and dignified appearance took the entire camp by storm.
“Who is she?”
“She is the Holy Consort of the Holy Citadel City…”
“She looks like a heavenly fairy…”
“I’ve heard that she is only 22 but she has already attained as a golden celestial…”
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng, the sectarian leader of the Celestial Sword Clan was already sitting in the main tent when Ye Jing had arrived.
Yun Zongheng was old and had long beard. He was also a Sacred Saint and he carried a commanding presence. But he gave a smile when he saw Ye Jing, “Holy Consort Ye, you are finally here. I have longed to meet you.”
Ye Jing returned a smile and a hand bow, “Senior, I have long heard of your renown.”
Yun Zongheng seemed to appraise Ye Jing for a while before he croaked aloud, “You are really an astonishing beauty.”
Then he pointed to the eight men that were on his left, “These are the elders of the Celestial Sword Clan.”
Ye Jing had already noticed the elders when she had stepped in. These elders all had golden eyes and there was none that was below the golden celestial level. The power disparity between the Holy Citadel City and the Celestial Sword Clan was too obvious.
When Chu Yunfeng saw the elders of the Celestial Sword Clan, his head was hung low. As an elder, he was ashamed of his own celestial level. He did not even know if he could even attain to the level of the golden celestial in his lifetime…
Li’Er was quiet as she understood what was in Chu Yunfeng’s mind.
Ye Jing smiled alluringly as she looked at the elders, “It is my honor to meet the elders of the Celestial Sword Clan. I’ve long heard of the Three Saint Sword Elders of the Celestial Sword Clan. May I know if I’ve the honor of meeting them today?”
An old elder laughed, “I am here and I’m Tang Yiren. And these two over them are Xiahou Bang and Ran Tianyou who shared the same fame as me.”
Immediately two other old men were laughing and stroking their beards.
Ye Jing bowed with her hands as she smiled cordially, “My respects to the Three Saint Sword Elders. It is my prestige honor to meet you.”
Tang Yiren laughed, “Our accomplishments are nothing to the Holy Consort. We have already heard that at your young age, you’re already a golden celestial and moreover, you are also the new Patriarch of the Tranquil City.”
Yun Zongheng laughed loudly, “That’s right. Our accomplishments are nothing compared to the Holy Consort Ye.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly and her eyes were looking sheepish. She was actually thinking miserably that she had screwed up her cultivation when she had forcefully attained the Immortal Celestial level. It was only after meeting Celestial Yuehua that she could cultivate normally again. And she was only a golden celestial because of her Celestial Teacher the Saintess Yi Si who had gifted the Eternal Lotus to her.
She quickly said as she took a glance at Young Master Yun Xinghe, “I’ve heard that Grandmaster Yun wants to discuss something with me?”
Yun Zongheng laughed as he stroked his long beard, “That’s right.”
He paused as he looked at Chu Yunfeng and Li’Er…
Ye Jing immediately understood as she said, “Elder Chu is my trusted elder and Li’Er is my direct protégé. I trust them completely.”
Yun Zongheng nodded and said, “In that case, we shall begin. As we all know, the Divine Sovereign Clan is the host of the Golden Clans Congregation this time round. It is because they’ve managed to divine the timing and location of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth ahead of all the other patriarch clans.”
Ye Jing nodded slowly. Rather than saying the Divine Sovereign Clan had divined ahead of the other patriarch clans, it was more correct to say that the Divine Sovereign Clan was ahead of the Celestial Sword Clan and the Ancient Ascension Sect. It was because all the other patriarch clans did not possess the capability to divine the whereabouts of the approaching Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth.
“This is already the second time in a row that the Divine Sovereign Clan has been leading the Golden Clans Congregation. Normally, we are glad to accept such a result but the haughtiness of Grandmaster Yuan is not something that we are happy about. Moreover the distribution from the last round had left us greatly disappointed.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, The Holy Citadel City is but a small clan. I really don’t see how I’m going to be of any help. Every single elder of the Celestial Sword Clan is equivalent to the might of a major celestial clan.”
That was the truth. The Celestial Sword Clan was like an elephant while the Holy Citadel City was like an ant. Most of the time in the history of the Holy Citadel City, it was just there to collect the leftover loots of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth from the top three celestial clans.
Yun Zongheng smiled, “We have heard that you have received the Tranquil Patriarch Token. We also know that this Tranquil Patriarch Token is only given out if someone is able to ascend the heavenly steps of the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil. It is said that anyone that can reach the Heavenly Temple is the true son and daughter of the heavens. With your status as the daughter of the heavens, naturally there will be many that will compete for your attention and…even for your hand in marriage.”
“Therefore…” he hesitated for a while. “We have heard that Yuan Chengzhi intended to announce your marriage to him in the upcoming assembly. Do you want to marry him?”
He was very frank and now he waited for Ye Jing to reply him.
Ye Jing replied coolly, “I don’t. Of course not.”
Yun Zongheng smiled, “But unfortunately, you may not have a voice because he will do anything to suppress your rights and your protest. But the Celestial Sword Clan will be your voice and help you. What do you think?”
Ye Jing pondered for a while before she asked in a slow manner, “So…what are your conditions?”
Yun Zongheng laughed as he stroked his long beard, “Good. I like to deal with smart people. Just one condition and you will even have a choice. Share with us what you have seen in the Heavenly Temple or you can choose to marry my son Yun Xinghe here. I can promise you that my son will only have you in his heart and no one other than you if you choose to marry him.”
Yun Xinghe immediately said, “Indeed, indeed.”
Ye Jing was startled as she immediately turned ashen.
This choice was not even a choice at all.
She was forbidden to tell anyone what she had seen in the Heavenly Temple by the Heaveness. If she had told them that she had seen the Heaveness, would they even believe her? On the other hand if she chooses to marry Young Master Yun Xinghe, it was as good as possessing the person that had ascended the Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil.
As for promises, she did not believe in any of them. With her reckless temperament, sooner or later she would lose his favor.
She forced herself to ask, “Is there a third choice?”
All of a sudden the expressions that were on Yun Zongheng, Yun Xinghe, Celestial Yun Chen and all the elders were extremely hostile…
Ye Jing thought miserably. It was as though they were not giving her any choices today. Now she regretted that she had not brought Xiaofang along with her…
Yun Zongheng forced a smile to say, “We are really quite curious about the Heavenly Temple for no one had ever been up there for the past 6000 years since it was there. But if you do not want to tell us about it then it is fine as well. We hope that you will consider marrying my third son Yun Xinghe here. If you do, I can even make him my successor and in the future, you will be the exalt mistress of the Celestial Sword Clan. What do you think?”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “It is not that I do not want to tell you about the Heavenly Temple but I’ve made an oath not to say anything about it. As for Young Master Yun Xinghe…”
She stole a glance at Yun Xinghe and saw his tense expressions before saying, “He is really a good man. A good man like him certainly deserves better. I am just afraid that I am not worthy…”
Young Master Yun Xinghe quickly interrupted, “You are worthy. Very worthy…”
Even Grandmaster Yun Zongheng was saying, “Holy Consort Ye must be joking. I’m afraid that it is only my son that is not worthy of you.”
Ye Jing was smiling miserably. She had wanted to shout, “Yes indeed. Your son is not worthy of me.”
But of course she did not dare to say it because if she did that, that would be her death wish.
She had to be polite and respectful to them at the same time…
Ye Jing, Ye Jing! Why did you have to get yourself into this mess? Why did you agree to come in the first place? There are really no free lunches in the world…
She had been baited by the free loot of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth and her indignant of her dislike for Young Master Yuan Chengzhi. And now they did not even discuss anything about it. This Grandmaster Yun Zongheng was really too crafty…
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng said solemnly, “Marrying my son Xinghe is the only way for you to resolve the rumors that you will be marrying Yuan Chengzhi. It is for your own good and it is the only way.”
Ye Jing said softly, “Marriage is supposed to be decided by our parents. I have to seek my mother blessings beforehand and I can’t decide this without consulting my mother first. Or else I will be considered as being unfilial.”
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng smiled, “As Holy Consort, surely you have the right to marry whenever and whoever you like. Special circumstances call for special exceptions. I hope that you can understand. Since you’ve already said that you don’t want to marry Yuan Chengzhi, why not consider Xinghe?”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “Marriage is something serious that I have to consider. Since the Golden Clans Congregation is still one week away, I like to carefully consider first.”
With that she said as she turned around, “Li’Er, Elder Chu. Let’s go!”
Tang Yiren had suddenly shouted, “Lass, where are you going!”
With that he had flashed his hands to grip Ye Jing!
He was swift but the instant he had reacted, Ye Jing had already sensed his attacks and she had drawn out her divine sword as she struck his claws with precision!
Tang Yiren was startled as he leapt backward when he was struck painfully by Ye Jing’s sword!
When he had taken a closer look, he was startled for he was now looking at a superior grade heaven-step divine sword that was in her hand. What was more, this divine sword also possessed a strong extreme negative attribute that could negate sword energies and earlier when he had attacked, his sword finger energies were all dispersed by the sword!
Ye Jing smiled coldly, “Senior, I hope that you be careful with your fingers.”
Tang Yiren croaked, “Lass, go back to the meeting now. You are not my match and I don’t want to hurt you.”
Ye Jing said quietly, “What if I can defeat you? Then I can go back to consider?”
“If you can defeat Elder Tang Yiren then you shall have three days to consider,” Grandmaster Yun Zongheng suddenly said, startling Ye Jing and Tang Yiren.
Young Master Yun Xinghe said hastily, “Elder Tang Yiren swordplay is too formidable. Why don’t we send…”
Ye Jing interrupted as she pointed her sword at Tang Yiren, “So be it!”
She had attacked Tang Yiren immediately!
Tang Yiren had also drawn his precious sword and had shouted, “Lass, I will teach you some humility!”
Dozens of sword strokes were instantly exchanged between them and sword energies were flying forth in all directions, causing everyone to scurry backward in a hurry.
But after a while there was a weird expression that was on Tang Yiren. It was because he had displayed his most epitome swordplay but this Ye Jing seemed to have evaded or predicted all his strokes. Moreover her sword strokes were extremely unconventional; without fail every time she seemed to know the flaws of his swordplay and would attack where his aura or sword stroke was at its weakest point!
All of a sudden the divine sword that was in Ye Jing’s hand broke into a brilliant halo and in that very instantly dispersed all the sword energies around them and she had sent Elder Tang Yiren to fly off with a slashing stroke!
It was a stunning shock to everyone that had seen it!
“She has divine harmonized with her sword?!”
“Elder Tang Yiren has actually lost to her?”
Ye Jing was a little startled as well. While she could feel that Tang Yiren swordplay was really very formidable but somehow she had no fear of it and just followed her heart as she displayed her attacking strokes. Because Tang Yiren swordplay was really too fast, she did not even have the time to think of any proper strokes to counter his attacks. And so she just randomly attacked and evaded at the same time…
Tang Yiren was a Sacred Saint. It was not easy to really injure him. He had stood up immediately when he had received the slashing stroke.
He said solemnly, “To think that someone will actually have an advantage over me in less than 20 sword strokes. This is really unbelievable. I conceit defeat. You may go.”
Ye Jing knew that he was not defeated yet but he was willing to let her go?
But she did not hesitate at all, “Thank you!” And she had marched off.
When she was left, Young Master Yun Xinghe asked. “Elder Yiren, you have not really lost. Why do you let her go just like this?”
The other elders were all asking the same as well.
Elder Yiren croaked, “Then what do you want me to do? Kill her? Then you will lose your new bride. It is better to wait three days.”
It was true that Elder Yiren could not use his lethal sword strokes as this was not a killing duel. Moreover he could not really display to his best ability because the sword had no eyes.
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng said solemnly, “Elder Yiren is right. It is better to wait for three more days.”
Suddenly Elder Yiren asked, “What does everyone think of her strokes?”
All the elders were awkward because they did not know what to say without offending Elder Yiren. They knew that Elder Yiren was very proud and for him to concede defeat to a junior was really unacceptable.
Elder Yiren hummed coldly, “Why is everyone so quiet? Let me tell you something. I’m really impressed by her. I really cannot overcome her swordplay at all even if I were to display all my best.”
When he had said that, everyone was staring at him in disbelief.
Instantly there were some mutterings.
“Elder Yiren can’t be serious.”
“Her sword strokes look ordinary.”
“It is just because she has a divine sword that is in her hand.”
But Elder Yiren said solemnly, “When I am fighting her, it is like I am hitting against an invisible wall. Moreover, did you see how compose she is? She isn’t even trying her best yet.”
Everyone was suddenly solemn because it was unusual for Elder Yiren to praise anyone like this.
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng asked, “Is it because that she has been to the Heavenly Temple?”
Elder Yiren croaked, “What else can it be?”
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng looked at everyone slowly before saying, “Do you think it is a coincidence that even a peaked monarch like Beitang Ze will perish so easily in the Tranquil City? After all, he had been my enemy for half my life. Son, you are there. Tell me what you have seen in great details to everyone.”
Young Master Yun Xinghe said as he looked at Celestial Yun Chen, “There is nothing to describe. Beitang Ze was killed in less than three strokes. His opponent called himself the Celestial Liege and said he is the elder of the Tranquil City.”
Everyone broke into disbelief and started talking at the same time!
“Are you sure it is only three strokes?”
“That Beitang Ze who can even fight the Three Saint Sword Elders on an equal footing…”
“This is not possible at all. We know how formidable he is…”
Celestial Yun Chen added solemnly, “He seems to practice the Celestial Force divine skill.”
When everyone had heard Celestial Yun Chen, they turned ashen immediately.
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng said slowly, “If the Holy Consort Ye can use such monster fighters in the likes of the Celestial Liege then she well may be the most influential person in the celestial realm that we cannot ill afford to offend.”
He stared at Young Master Yun Xinghe, “Son, if you are able to get her then you may well be the most powerful person in the centuries to come. If you want to be the future leader of the Celestial Sword Clan then don’t you disappoint me!”
Young Master Yun Xinghe immediately said with great self-confident, “Father, don’t you worry. I am sure that Maiden Ye Jing likes me a lot. It is just that she is shy. I’m sure that I will get her to agree to our marriage in the next three days!”
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng laughed jovially, “If that is the case then you surely won’t disappoint me!”
Celestial Yun Chen suddenly said, “Yun Chen takes my leave first. I’ve something to settle first.”
With that, he had left the tent and looked at his surroundings.
The reason why he had left so hastily was because he had detected a familiar presence outside the tent!
The familiar presence quickly fled to the camp outside and Celestial Yun Chen soon followed it to the forests outside.
The familiar aura did not get weaker but was fact stronger!
All of a sudden an enticing female figure appeared on the top of a boulder that was in front of him. She may have worn a golden mask but her presence was extremely mesmerizing.
Celestial Yun Chen stammered, “Devil Goddess…you are not dead yet?”
The Golden Mask Devil Goddess said softly, “Yun Chen, since you have seen me. Why don’t you kneel down before me? Kneel.”
Celestial Yun Chen kneeled and bowed down as he shook with fear, “Please forgive me for my imprudence! It…it is just that…I have never thought…it has been two centuries…”
The Golden Mask Devil Goddess said nonchalantly, “On account of your loyalty, I will spare you. The duel between Ye Jing and Tang Yiren is really so interesting. She is stronger than I’ve thought. Tell me from start to end what had happened to the celestial realm during the two centuries that I was not around.”
Celestial Yun Chen stammered, “Yes…yes…”