Chapter 43: The Golden Clans Congregation
The Nuer Mountains consisted of more than three hundred mountain peaks. But even then, it was really crowded with the clan banners of hundreds of celestial clans that had camped in its vicinity.
Hundreds of celestial clans numbering more than two hundred thousand had gathered on a plateau that was surrounded by dozens of lofty mountain peaks.
Today was the first day of the Golden Clans Congregation.
At the side of the mountain was a giant dark sealed portal that led to the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth and it was main objective of all the clans that had gathered today.
Unlike the past Golden Clans Congregation which was more neutral, there was an air of open hostilities between the righteous celestial clans and the dark heretic clans.
It was because the Scarlet Heretic Sect, a major dark heretic clan had all its leaders massacred overnight!
The Divine Sovereign Clan was the host of this Golden Clans Congregation.
Grandmaster Yuan Tianba had taken the seat of authority in the middle of the congregation. It was also the seat that was closest to the giant dark sealed portal.
Around him was Young Master Yuan Chengzhi, Elder Zhou Hai, Elder Jin Lei, Elder Yuan Xiao and others.
Their moods were naturally quite jovial and for good reasons. Today was the day that Young Master Yuan Chengzhi would marry Saintess Yuqing!
Ye Jing and her retinue had taken a seat at the golden section since she was from one of the nine patriarch celestial clan.
Almost all the celestials were looking in her direction, astounded by her peerless beauty. This was the first time that Ye Jing had appeared in front of the celestial clans meeting. Not only were they looking curiously at her but she was also looking curiously at everyone at the same time!
Grandmaster Yun Zongheng, Young Master Yun Xinghe, Celestial Yun Chen and many others were also presented. The mood at the Celestial Sword Clan side was a little ugly because Young Master Yun Xinghe had recently lost a duel with the Divine Sovereign Clan.
Ye Jing saw that she was not the only female leader among the patriarch celestial clans. The Heavenly Fragrance Villa was led by the Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue while the Lofty Snow Palace was led by the Palace Mistress Xuan Danfeng. Both were also beautiful ladies.
When their eyes met, she smiled at them.
Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue looked gentle and had a quiet demeanor. The protégés of the Heavenly Fragrance Villa were all females since their cultivation methods were not suitable for men. Like the Holy Citadel City, Heavenly Fragrance Villa was one of the bottom three clans.
As for Palace Mistress Xuan Danfeng, she had cherry smiles all the time as she greeted everyone and was talkative. She seemed to know everyone and her seat had a lot of people rushing to offer her a toast.
The Ancient Ascension Sect was inconspicuously missing and had not arrived yet. It was well known that the Ancient Ascension Sect was the leading celestial clan in the celestial realm for most of its history. That they were late was only too normal for the Ancient Ascension Sect had its own rivalries with the Divine Sovereign Clan.
It was obvious to most of the celestials that the Ancient Ascension Sect was bitter that the host this time round had fallen to the Divine Sovereign Clan again.
There were also hundreds of clan leaders and their retinue that had gathered at the silver seats. The ‘silver seats’ referred to the clans that were actually uninvited. But the tradition of the Golden Clans Congregation was such that any clan could come if they were aware that the Golden Clans Congregation was taking place. The patriarch clans would not intervene as long as they were the ones that had entered the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth first.
This was actually a cunning stratagem. The hundreds of celestial clans presented was a deterrent against the hundreds of dark heretic clans that had gathered in the vicinity as well. Since the Scarlet Heretic Sect was now powerless to lead the heretic celestial clans, it was likely that the Thousands Fragments Sect or the Divine Moon Manor was now leading the heretic celestial clans.
Under the strict rules of the Golden Clan Congregation, the three major heretic celestial clans would assign the golden seats if they choose to come. Sometimes they did come but usually they would prefer to setup their own congregation nearby.
The entire place was full of top exponents from the hundreds of celestial clans. Because Ye Jing had a golden seat, she was surrounded by a dazzling number of golden celestials and sacred saints. She had never seen so many high level celestial practitioners in her life before.
Ye Jing was carrying Yu’Er who had metamorphosed into a red hen and she was accompanied by Chu Yunfeng, Xiaofang and a hundred protégés that were stationed around her.
As for Li’Er and a dozen female protégés, they were in the blue sedan behind to help with the wedding preparations for the Saintess Yuqing.
Ye Jing whispered as her eyes flashed at the colorful sights of the congregation, “Xiaofang. I can’t believe that this congregation is so massive. There are so many top celestial experts around. It seems that our retinue is the smallest here.”
Xiaofang nodded but his eyes were looking intently at the sealed portal of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth that was as large as a seven-storey pagoda. He was more excited for the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth than the congregation.
Ye Jing had suddenly caught sight of Yuan Chengzhi and he was approaching her. She whispered, “This man just can’t wait…”
Young Master Yuan Chengzhi was smiling broadly as he approached, “Your Holy Consort, where is my Yuqing…I mean the Saintess Yuqing? Today is our…”
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “She is at the sedan behind me. When it is time for you to make the announcements, she will surely appear. You are missing her already?”
Young Master Yuan Chengzhi laughed jovially, “That is only naturally. Is she happy with the betrothal gifts?”
Ye Jing smiled, “My sister offers her thanks to you. You are indeed generous. She is pleased with your gifts and is looking forward to the marriage announcement.”
“You are the Holy Consort Ye?” a beautiful voice called out to her. It was the Palace Mistress Xuan Danfeng who had suddenly approached them with some of her protégés.
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “Greetings to Lofty Snow Palace, Palace Mistress Xuan. I have long heard of your renown. You are the number one heroine in the celestial realm.”
Young Master Yuan Chengzhi quickly bowed with his hands, “Palace Mistress Xuan. Divine Sovereign Clan Yuan Chengzhi pays my respect to you!”
Xuan Danfeng laughed jovially, “Who has never heard of the name of Young Master Yuan Chengzhi? I have heard something. I wonder if that is true. I’ve heard that today you are going to marry the sister of the Holy Consort Ye?”
Actually by now, everyone had heard of Young Master Yuan Chengzhi impending marriage. It was because everyone knows that Young Master Yuan Chengzhi and Young Master Yun Xinghe had fought over a beautiful woman. The details were sketchy but the outcome of the facts was largely confirmed.
Young Master Yuan Chengzhi laughed jovially, “That is true.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled as she looked around, “I don’t see the bride yet.”
Then she smiled at Young Master Yuan Chengzhi, “I have heard that the bride is a beautiful saintess. That is so surprising. Truly, this is really an extraordinary affair. Such a disparity in cultivation status is really the first.”
Ye Jing could feel her sarcasm immediately. Young Master Yuan Chengzhi was only at the Immortal Celestial level while Saintess Yuqing was at the Sacred Saint level. That was a full two realms apart and moreover, the status of the Sacred Saint was extremely lofty.
Xuan Danfeng herself was an initial stage Sacred Saint and she was extremely proud of this fact. She could not imagine herself marrying a lowly cultivator. If she is a Sacred Saint then her groom must also be on the same level or higher than her. Therefore she was really curious who this Saintess Yuqing was.
Yuan Chengzhi smiled weakly, “We are in love, that’s why.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled wryly, “Oh? I have heard that you have ‘won’ her in a bet against Young Master Yun Xinghe.”
Yuan Chengzhi was flustered as he quickly bowed with his hands, “Junior will speak to Palace Mistress Xuan later. I need to attend to some important matters first.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled when he had left as she appraised Ye Jing, “You are indeed beautiful. It seems that Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue is now no longer the number one beauty in the celestial realm now…”
Feng Minyue seemed to have sharp ears as her gentle voice floated to them, “I don’t mind at all.” She had displayed the divine whisper to convey to the two of them.
Xuan Danfeng laughed, “She has indeed sharp ears. We are so far away yet she is still able to hear us.”
Ye Jing was astonished by Feng Minyue extraordinary sharp earing. It was because the whole place was actually quite noisy and it was impossible to pick up a meaningful conversation if someone was not actually nearby.
Unknown to them, when Feng Minyue saw that Xuan Danfeng was talking to Ye Jing, her curiosity was piqued and she had purposely used all her profound skills to eavesdrop upon them!
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “My sister is prettier than me. You will know when you have seen her.”
Xuan Danfeng laughed softly, “You mean the Saintess Yuqing? I am really curious about her. I’ve heard that she is high priestess of the Heavenly Temple and that you have met her when you had ascended to the Heavenly Temple. This is really a remarkable feat. I have once tried the heavenly steps but I cannot even get past to the 300th steps. I wonder what your secret is.”
Ye Jing said coolly, “I have practiced an intricate heart formula that is called the Purity Hearts. Maybe that is why.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled as she pondered, “That is interesting. It must be a really formidable heart intricacy skill.”
“I apologize for my rudeness for interrupting your conversations earlier,” Feng Minyue had quietly approached them. Her lightness skill was indeed superb.
As she approached, she took a glance at Xiaofang. But he was totally indifferent and his attention seemed to be the sealed portal that was behind them. Feng Minyue felt a little hurt in secret. It was because she was the recognized beauty of the celestial realm and also a peaked golden celestial of lofty status. There were hundreds of high ranking celestials that were courting her and yet she did not even want to take a glance at them. But this refined young man here who was not even a golden celestial did not even take a single glance at her…
Feng Minyue said gently, “I think we can forego the introductions already. I am curious about the Heavenly Temple as well. My limit is just slightly over 600th heavenly steps in the past. I’ve thought of taking the heavenly steps again after this congregation.”
Xuan Danfeng muttered weakly, “600th heavenly steps are really an insane feat.”
But it was entirely not surprising to her. It was because Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue was largely unstained by the affairs of the celestial realm and she spent most of her time in seclusion.
Feng Minyue said gently, “Your heart must be really pure in order to ascend to the Heavenly Temple. If the Holy Consort Ye does not mind, we can address each other as sisters.”
Ye Jing was startled by her sudden request. She had actually known of the renown of the Heavenly Fragrance Princess for her beauty and grace was like a heavenly fairy. In fact, she had long idolized her and wished that she was as capable as her. She nodded eagerly, “Why not? That is my wish as well!”
Feng Minyue smiled gently as she hugged her, “Sister Ye Jing.”
Ye Jing answered, “Sister Minyue!”
This sudden turn of event caused Xiaofang to look at Feng Minyue out of curiosity and even Elder Chu Yunfeng was startled as he took a look at Xiaofang.
Now Xuan Danfeng was looking a little awkward as these two juniors had suddenly become sisters. She smiled weakly for the very first time and lost her air of superiority, “The three of us are the heavenly fairies of the celestial realm. Now that the two of you have become sisters, I am feeling so left out.”
Her intention was plain and did not need to be spelt out.
Feng Minyue smiled, “If Sister Ye Jing does not mind, we can include you as our sister.”
Ye Jing was actually delighted to be acquainted with the Heavenly Fragrance Villa and the Lofty Snow Palace so she said without hesitation, “Of course I don’t mind. It is my honor to have two such wonderful sisters. Sister Xuan!”
Xuan Danfeng was really happy that she was not left out, “Sister Ye Jing, Sister Minyue. It seems that this trip is not in vain after all.”
While they were talking, almost all the celestial clans were secretly looking in their directions. It was because for the three most heavenly maidens to be in the same place and were laughing together was really such a wondrous sight.
They were surprised that even the usually frosty and forbidden Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue was actually smiling and the beauty of her smile immediately melted the hearts of many of the celestials who were secretly looking at her.
Suddenly the gossips of the congregation were slowly replaced by, “Look over there. Isn’t that the Heavenly Fragrance Princess, the Palace Mistress Xuan and the Holy Consort Ye? They are actually together…”
“What a wondrous sight. They are like three heavenly fairies that have descended from the immortal realm…”
“Look at that…someone has stepped out of that blue sedan behind them…and she is dazzling…”
“That is Yuan Chengzhi’s bride?”
“It is…really a rare flower that is planted on Yuan Chengzhi that cow dung…”
Fan Yuqing had just stepped out of the blue sedan with Li’Er and her small group of retinue. She was smiling lovely as she said, “Sister Ye Jing. Why didn’t you tell me that you have two more sisters out of the blue? Shouldn’t you at least inform your elder sister about it so that I can be mentally prepared?”
When Yuqing had appeared, the noise in the golden section had suddenly died down, followed by the curious looks that were in the silver section. It was as though her appearances could kill off thousands of noises.
Yuqing was dressed in an exquisite red wedding gown with golden phoenixes embroidered onto it. She was like a dazzling peerless goddess that had suddenly stepped into the mundane realm and her smiles were so heavenly striking that almost all the celestials were stopped dead in their tracks as they looked with stunned awe in her direction.
When Xuan Danfeng saw Yuqing, she could not believe that such a peerless maiden could exist. At first she had thought that this Saintess Yuqing may not be so beautiful after all or else she would not have lowered her status to marry Yuan Chengzhi. Now she had finally realized why Young Master Yun Xinghe and Young Master Yuan Chengzhi had fought so bitterly over her.
Even Feng Minyue was grasping softly as she put her hand over her mouth as she stared at the Saintess Yuqing, “That…that’s your sister?”
If they were heavenly fairies, then this sister of hers was a heavenly goddess!
“Hello, sisters. I am Fan Yuqing, ex-high priestess of the Heavenly Temple.” She smiled at Xuan Danfeng and Feng Minyue.
Xuan Danfeng found herself stammering as she looked at her, “Hello dear sister…”
Even though she was a Sacred Saint but this Saintess Yuqing’s aura was even more profound than her. She forced through a smile, “I’m Lofty Snow Palace, Palace Mistress Xuan Danfeng. I wonder what the current stage of your cultivator level is now?”
Yuqing laughed softly, “You can say that I am a peaked saintess.”
Peaked Sacred Saint!!
Xuan Danfeng and Feng Minyue were startled. Peaked Sacred Saint was virtually at the top of the celestial pecking order and commanded the highest respect in the celestial ream!
Xuan Danfeng smiled faintly, “Then may Sister Yuqing please guide me in the future. I’m only at the initial stage of the Sacred Saint level.”
Feng Minyue gave a courtesy half bow as she said gently, “Alas, I am just a peak golden celestial that is trying to attain to the Sacred Saint level. Unfortunately, even that half-step is too hard and my star may even fall from grace. Sister Yuqing, I am glad to be acquainted with you. I’m the Heavenly Fragrance Princess Feng Minyue…”
She paused for a while before she looked at Yuqing with a pleading look, “I have heard that Sister Saintess you have given out a Rainbow Saint Pill just a few days ago. If you, if you…have another spare Rainbow Saint Pill, I will like to purchase directly from you…”
Then she emphasized, “At any price that I am able to afford.”
When Xuan Danfeng heard her, she was a little startled. Now she finally realized why the usually cold and forbidden Feng Minyue would be so outgoing today. That was because she was now on a half-step into the Sacred Saint level. If she failed then her star would descend and that would be the end of her. She naturally did not want to die. No one really wants to die…
Saintess Yuqing smiled, “I do have another one. Really at any price?”
Feng Minyue had an excited look on her countenance as she said firmly, “At any price.”
Saintess Yuqing said in jest, “Even if I want you to be my servant, you will do it?”
Feng Minyue was shocked when she had heard her. She lowered her gaze and said gently, “If Sister saintess wants me to be your servant then I have no regrets doing so.”
Ye Jing and Xuan Danfeng were startled that the lofty Feng Minyue was willing to be a servant just for the Rainbow Saint Pill.
They were not Feng Minyue and they had no idea how desperate her situation was now.
But Xuan Danfeng did understand her. She remembered when she was first overcoming to the Sacred Saint level, her odds was just 10%. It was a do or die situation. When she had finally overcome to the Sacred Saint level, her mood had changed to the jovial mood that everyone was accustomed to now. It was because she was so overjoyed to have overcome her life and death barrier that her emotional state had completely improved.
Saintess Yuqing asked, “What if I ask you to marry Yuan Chengzhi in my place. Will you do it?”
Feng Minyue nodded slowly…
Saintess Yuqing smiled, “Let’s talk about that later. Today is my wedding day and I ought to pay my father-in-law a visit first.”
And she had walked over to the seating positions of the Divine Sovereign Clan.
When Yuan Chengzhi saw Yuqing appearing from the blue sedan, he almost jumped and he was smiling to his father and elders as though he was saying. “There, there! I told you so! Your good son has landed a good wife!”
When Grandmaster Yuan Tianba saw the Saintess Yuqing, he was stunned at her peerless looks. When his son Yuan Chengzhi had told him that he was not going to marry Ye Jing anymore, he was quite upset as they had already lost two divine swords to her.
Even when Yuan Chengzhi and Elder Zhou Hai had described to him how perfect the Saintess Yuqing was, he had not believed them.
In fact he had replied quite sarcastically, “There is no way a saintess will lower herself to marry you. There must be a trick somewhere.”
Yuan Chengzhi had replied, “Absolutely no tricks. She has totally idolized me. Compare to that Yun Xinghe, I’m 100 times better.”
Now Fan Yuqing had slowly walked with Li’Er to the front of Grandmaster Yuan Tianba as she greeted, “My respects to my father-in-law. Your daughter-in-law Yuqing pays my respect to you.”
Along the way, she had secretly glanced at Young Master Yun Xinghe and Celestial Yun Chen. The faces belong to the Celestial Sword Clan was extremely bitter…
Grandmaster Yuan Tianba roared out in laughter, “My good daughter-in-law. From now on, you are part of the Divine Sovereign Clan!”
It was obvious that he was very pleased with this new daughter-in-law.
Then he rose and displayed the Thousand Mile Resonant as he said aloud, “Today is not just the inaugural day of the Golden Clans Congregation but is also a grand day for my son Chengzhi and his bride Yuqing!”
The entire congregation was in an uproar as everyone began to talk at the same time after hearing the announcements.
“The Divine Sovereign Clan Yuan Chengzhi has lucked out in marrying such a heavenly goddess…”
“Yuan Chengzhi probably has a lot of good karma in his past life…”
“Such a heavenly match…”
“I wish I was Yuan Chengzhi…”
Ye Jing was thinking, “Does she really want to marry Yuan Chengzhi…” Now she was feeling bad that Fan Yuqing had chosen to sacrifice herself for her sake…
She sighed further, “There is only one flaw in this entire plan. Someone has to be sacrificed and that is you.”