Chapter 47: Inside the Labyrinth
When Ye Jing regained her consciousness, she was startled to see that she was in a glassy glade. Next to her were Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng. They were looking at Xiaofang who was treating Fan Yuqing who was lying on the ground.
Fan Yuqing was convulsing and coughing blood even as Xiaofang was jabbing her with long silver needles to stabilize her condition.
From the look of it, her internal injuries were not light and it was as though she was coughing her organs out…
When Ye Jing saw the scene, she was freaked out.
Finally after a while, she asked quietly, “What has happened?”
She had passed out and did not see the final fight between Fan Yuqing and Xiao Shuai…
She had suddenly noticed that Feng Minyue was actually crying and even the eyes of Xuan Danfeng were watery as they watched the scene…
Xuan Danfeng muttered, with trembling lips. “Saintess Yuqing…Sister Yuqing…she saves us all…but she had burnt her life force to fight with Xiao Shuai…” She was too incoherent to continue…
Feng Minyue covered her mouth as hot tears streamed down her cheeks, “She could actually escape alone but she took us all with her. If not we will be under the bestial hands of those two old freaks now…”
Ye Jing was stunned. She had actually saved all of us?!…
She had suddenly realized how little she had really known about this Fan Yuqing. Was she not the Golden Mask Devil Goddess that had once terrorized the entire celestial realm?
Even if Fan Yuqing could not defeat the two old freaks, surely she had no problem escaping on her own. Why did she risk her life for their sake?
Even her eyes were now brimming with tears as she prayed silently, “Xiaofang, you got to help her. Please don’t let her die…”
Xiaofang was sweating heavily and he was fully concentrating on treating Fan Yuqing.
Xuan Danfeng was saying, “It is no use. You can’t use your internal energies to treat her. This will only prolong her suffering…”
Ye Jing said softly, “It is alright. Xiaofang, he has the healing focus ability. If there is anyone in the world that can treat her then it is him.”
When Xuan Danfeng and Feng Minyue had heard her, they were so startled that they were staring at her; it was because even though they had heard of this special ability but they had thought that it was just a myth and a mythical ability.
Feng Minyue’s lovely eyes were staring at Ye Jing, “Is that really true?”
Ye Jing nodded with a soft sigh before she asked them, “Why did the two of you join in the duel earlier?”
Both Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng were looking a little flustered. It was because they had realized that even though their cultivation level was higher than Ye Jing and Xiaofang, they were actually of little help…
Feng Minyue said slowly, “I did say that my life depends on Saintess Yuqing. If she has any mishaps then my life is as good as gone anyway.”
Xuan Danfeng nodded and said with a faint smile, “I have thought that we are sisters so sister, I am just trying to help the other sisters.”
Both Ye Jing and Feng Minyue were looking at her intently. It was because they really did not believe in her.
Xuan Danfeng smiled weakly, “Alright. I admit it. It is not so much on sisterhood but it is more on the pride thing. If I did not join in the duel and if you guys had won then I will be inviting future ridicule. Then my reputation as a saintess will be at stake. Are you happy with my answer now?”
Ye Jing said, “Now that sounds more like it.”
Xuan Danfeng said quietly, “I really did not expect that old freak Xiao Shuai to be so formidable. Even with the five of us attacking him at the same time, he is still able to hold against us so…”
Xiaofang breathe deeply as his lips stammered, “I’ve stabilized her condition. Her internal injuries are really serious. She has not totally recovered from her last injuries and now it has worsened…”
Her last injuries referred to the time when he had found her in the cave.
Ye Jing scolded herself, “I shouldn’t have been so stingy with my soul jewels and should have given her freely when she had request for it…”
Xiaofang was very pale and his whole body was trembling. It was obvious that he had used up a lot of his vital energies to treat her.
Ye Jing said gently to him. “Xiaofang, please take a rest first.”
She turned to ask Xuan Danfeng and Feng Minyue, “Sisters, where are we now?”
Xuan Danfeng said weakly, “You may not believe it but we are inside the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth now.”
Ye Jing was startled, “Huh?! Isn’t the portal supposed to be sealed? How did we get inside?”
Xuan Danfeng said, “I don’t know exactly what has happened but I saw Sister Saintess Yuqing pulling us inside the portal. When we are just inside, the portal resealed again and she had collapsed.”
Ye Jing took a quick look at her surroundings. They were surrounded by tall trees and the skies here looked exactly like the outside. She muttered, “Are we really inside the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth?”
Knowing that this was the first time that Ye Jing and Feng Minyue had been to the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth, Xuan Danfeng explained, “The Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth is inside a vast spatial space. Some say the exact location may well be in the Great Beyond Realm. When we pass through the portal to the inside, we will be teleported to a random location within the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. Got it?”
Ye Jing and Feng Minyue nodded together but they were taking quick glances at each other.
Xuan Danfeng seemed to know what they were thinking and said hastily, “Look I’m not that old. Stop looking at me like I’ve been here before. I’ve heard it from the others as well.”
Feng Minyue smiled faintly, “I seem to recall from my protégé master that the two of you had a little quarrel over the distribution of some loot in the previous opening of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth.”
“Maybe your protégé master remembered it wrongly. After all, she is no longer around anymore.” Xuan Danfeng said weakly. “Anyway, since we are already in the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth, we should start making plans to survive in it. It is not a place for the weak or the faint-hearted.”
Ye Jing asked curiously, “Since we’ll be randomly taken to a different location, so how are it possible for the patriarch clans to be in the same group?”
Xuan Danfeng smiled, “When you first enter the portal, there will be a rippling effect. As long as everyone enters the portal before the ripples disappear, we will all end up in the same location.”
“That’s interesting…” Ye Jing commented.
Suddenly Fan Yuqing was roused from her inanimate state as she gripped Xiaofang, “You…you have saved me once again…”
Xiaofang said gently, “It is nothing compared to what you did to save all of us. Thank you. You should rest more. You are still feverish…”
Fan Yuqing muttered weakly, “Are they all alright?…”
Xiaofang nodded, “Everyone is alright. Don’t worry. We’re all inside the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth now.”
Fan Yuqing nodded lightly before she slipped back to what was before while muttering, “Xiaofang…Xiaofang…”
Xiaofang was feeling really awkward and his back was burning. It was because he knew that Ye Jing, Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng were watching him closely.
Feng Minyue asked, “Are…are they a pair?”
Ye Jing quickly said, “Of course not!” she could not say out that actually she and Xiaofang were actually a pair…
Xuan Danfeng muttered, “It seems that our Sister Saintess Yuqing here has some feeling for this young man here. A high level saintess will actually like a low level cultivator here? This is unheard of. Moreover she is the bride of that Young Master Yuan Chengzhi.”
Feng Minyue said quietly, “This young man is really likeable. Moreover he has already divine harmonized with his immortal sword. In the entire celestial fraternity, I am afraid that he is one of the few worthy men that are around for the leftover saintess.”
Xuan Danfeng was immediately flustered, “What do you mean by leftover saintess? There are plenty of golden celestial maidens that are also leftover. Don’t tell me that you also like him?”
Feng Minyue lowered her glances, “He belongs to our Sister Saintess Yuqing. I wouldn’t think of contesting after him. Moreover, not everyone is attracted to the alpha males.”
When Ye Jing had heard their conversations, she was really upset in secret but she had to pretend otherwise.
Even Xiaofang was shocked when they had suddenly discussed about him. He quickly said, “Saintess Yuqing is a noble maiden. You folks shouldn’t have talked behind her back. Moreover she is just expressing her gratitude. Don’t forget that today is also her wedding day to Young Master Yuan. It is not a good thing to taint her reputation.”
Ye Jing nodded and she added, “Xiaofang is right. If you are all so free to gossip, why don’t we check the place out first? Xiaofang, carry Saintess Yuqing…”
Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng took a glance at each other in secret. They had wanted to lighten the tense atmosphere by teasing Xiaofang but all of a sudden, it seemed that the atmosphere had grown cold. Neither Ye Jing nor Xiaofang seemed particular happy…
Xuan Danfeng quickly said out loud, “Right. Let’s us go check the vicinity first.”
The Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth was not what Ye Jing had initially expected it to be. She had thought that it was a maze like dungeon. But now they were talking a stroll in the rather peaceful woods.
Xuan Danfeng smiled when she noticed that Ye Jing and Feng Minyue were rather tense so she said, “This is just the perimeter of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. We are now at what is called the safe zone. So there won’t be any dangers.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “You should have told us earlier…” She was really freaking scared since this was the first time that she had stepped into the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. She had certainly heard that it was one of the most dangerous places to visit and for safety sake, it was better to go in with a large number.
There were only five of them and one was considered to be invalid now.
She asked, “Do we really have to go into the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth? Is there any way out of here? Or we can stay in the safe zone?”
Xuan Danfeng shook her head, “The only way out of here is inside the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth. There are portals inside that will take us out of here. As for staying in the safe zone, this is out of question for two reasons. The first reason being we may not know if we are being pursued. While the perimeter of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth seems incomparable vast, the interior is even more so and will be safer from our pursuers. The second reason is that there are powerful lightning roaming above us. The longer that we remain in the safe zone, the frequency of the lightning and the lightning strikes will also increase. So it is actually safer inside the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth than outside.”
Ye Jing sighed, “And you call here the safe zone….”
“I only mean that it is safe from the desolate monsters of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth and don’t mean the elements.” Xuan Danfeng protested softly.
She looked at Feng Minyue and Ye Jing, “I have never expected that I will be walking with the two of you in such a situation like this.”
Feng Minyue said quietly, “Same here. A lofty saintess of your status will never bother with two golden celestials of the bottom three patriarch clans.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled, “Actually I have already heard of your cold forbidding nature. I don’t expect that we may even exchange ten words with each other but we did. Don’t get me wrong. I do know that the Heavenly Fragrance Villa has always been quiet.”
Feng Minyue said, “I take it as a compliment then.”
Xuan Danfeng shrugged her shoulders as she glanced at Ye Jing as though she was saying, “Told you so. The Heavenly Fragrance Villa is really hard to conversation with.”
Feng Minyue suddenly paused in her tracks and asked, “So, are we really sisters? Or it is all a fake?”
Ye Jing and Xuan Danfeng had also stopped in their tracks as they looked at one another…
Ye Jing smiled faintly, “I really do not mind. After we had just fought together, I can feel a sense of camaraderie. But…” she looked at Xuan Danfeng, “But Palace Mistress and Saintess Xuan is of a higher status than us.”
Xuan Danfeng smiled weakly, “Hmph! This saintess here is kinda of feeling quite useless in that earlier battle. If not for Sister Saintess Yuqing, even if I have ten lives, it is still not enough.”
She lowered her eyes, “Sister Jing, Sister Minyue. If you do not mind a useless sister like me, then you can address me as your Elder Sister Danfeng.”
Ye Jing beamed, “Elder Sister Danfeng!”
Even Feng Minyue was smiling, “Elder Sister Danfeng!”
Xiaofang did not say anything and instead he was on the alert while watching over the surroundings.
Xuan Danfeng smiled melancholy, “Thank you sisters.”
Ye Jing asked curiously, “You sound sad. You should be happy right? Why are you sighing?”
“Nothing…it is just that I am worried about my protégés that are outside. Many of them have followed me for many years and I don’t know what will happen to them.”
Ye Jing and Feng Minyue were equally disturbed as well. Their protégés were still outside and their fates were still unknown…
Feng Minyue said softly, “No one really expects the Devil Isle to turn up and they are actually so formidable. I’ve thought that the Devil Isle is just a mythical place.”
“There are three martial consecrated places in the celestial realm and it is where you can find many of the lost martial divine skills. These three places are like the martial libraries of the celestial realm.”
Feng Minyue, Ye Jing and Xuan Danfeng were startled and the one who had just spoken was Fan Yuqing. She had just regained her consciousness on Xiaofang’s back.
Xuan Danfeng had a surprised look, “This is the first time that I’ve ever heard of this before. How do you know this?”
The Lofty Snow Palace was a middle tier patriarch clan and had considerable information network in the celestial realm. If she had never heard of this then Ye Jing and Feng Minyue would not know either.
And from Ye Jing and Feng Minyue startled expressions, they had indeed not known of it.
Fan Yuqing smiled weakly, “I’ve heard you calling each other sisters so intimately. Does it include me as well?”
“Of course!…” All three of them replied almost at the same time.
Fan Yuqing forced through a smile before she said weakly, “My martial skills are partly from the Melancholy Valley. Now you know my secret.”
The Melancholy Valley!?
The Melancholy Valley was also one of three celestial consecrated places in the celestial realm…
The three celestial consecrated places were the Melancholy Valley, the Devil Isle and the Goddess Palace…
Feng Minyue asked almost incoherently, “You’re really from the Melancholy Valley?”
That was also the question that Ye Jing and Xuan Danfeng had in mind…
Fan Yuqing smiled and shook lightly, “My elder sister is from the Melancholy Valley. She taught me some of my martial skills and I had learnt how to cultivate from her.”
Ye Jing was astounded, “You really have a sister?”
Fan Yuqing nodded weakly, “Are you surprised?”
Ye Jing smiled weakly. She was truly surprised. She really did not think that the Devil Goddess had an older sister and her older sister was actually from the Melancholy Valley. Since she was such a badass then surely her older sister would be even more badass than her?
Fan Yuqing coughed a few times before she said weakly, “These two old freaks are really the true disciples of the Devil Isle. They have several epitome divine skills that can make them instant powerhouses in the celestial realm. But that’s not the most frightening part. Each of them is equaled to two peaked sacred saints.”
Each of them was equaled to two peaked sacred saints?!
Everyone was shocked to hear that.
“That is because they are ancient celestials and have cultivated an additional cultivation method that basically doubled their cultivation strength.”
Ye Jing suddenly remembered that the Saintess Yi Si had told her that once she had cultivated the mundane celestial practice to the Ascend Divinity then she would be equaled to two golden celestials. That would only mean that the two old freaks had already mastered the mundane celestial practice. No wonder that Xiao Shuai was so hard to be killed. They were fighting against two peaked sacred saints…
Feng Minyue was startled, “You mean that Old Man Xiao Shuai is not only a peaked sacred saint but he is like two peaked sacred saints? The five of us were fighting against two peaked sacred saints…”
Xuan Danfeng was smiling weakly, “No wonder their level of power is so absurd. We have thought that there are only two of them but their martial powers are actually equaled to four peaked sacred saints. No wonder everyone got thrashed by them so easily because we have all underestimate them…”
Their conversations were so interesting that even Xiaofang was suddenly paying attention…
Fan Yuqing muttered weakly, “They are not totally invincible.”
Ye Jing, Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng could only smile weakly, not daring to comment. Maybe to Fan Yuqing who was a peaked sacred saint, she may think otherwise but to them these two old freaks were like terrible monsters.
She said, “Sister Jing, thrust your sword to the ground. Use only 50% of your martial strength.”
Ye Jing was curious why she had asked her to do so but she did as she was told anyway. She unsheathed her divine sword and thrust her sword into the hard ground underneath them.
And her divine sword went two feet into the ground.
“Now pull your sword back and use 100% of your martial strength.”
Ye Jing did as she was told and this time her divine sword went slightly more than two feet but fell short of even three feet.
She was stunned…
Fan Yuqing explained weakly, “You may have used 100% of your martial strength but your martial power may not necessary be doubled. Every little inch into the ground saps away the martial power due to resistance. The deeper you thrust into the ground, the more martial power is required. They may have doubled the martial strength than us but it does not mean that their martial powers are also doubled. In the end, you still very much need to depend on your willpower to win and all your fighting experiences to dismantle their moves. Got it?”
Xiaofang was stirred and his eyes were beaming, “I got it now! They may be stronger than us but it doesn’t mean we cannot win them.”
Fan Yuqing smiled weakly as she closed her eyes, “I’m tired…”
Ye Jing, Feng Minyue and Xuan Danfeng were all smiling bitterly as though they had the same conclusion that this was easier said than done!
Multiple streaks of lightning suddenly appeared in the skies above and furious thunderclaps were heard a second later.
Xuan Danfeng quickly said, “We need to hurry. If we get caught in this thunderstorm then it won’t be a good experience. Moreover, the lightning here are several times stronger than in the celestial realm.”
Ye Jing and Feng Minyue nodded as they hurried their steps.
It was not before long that they had spotted a large blue portal in the woods.
Ye Jing could sense strong energy emanations that were coming from this portal, “Is this the gateway to the inside of the Empyrean Warrior Labyrinth?”
Xuan Danfeng chuckled, “Smart. So let’s go in.”
Ye Jing panicky said, “You’re sure that it is safe to go in?”
Xuan Danfeng whirled her sleeves with a soft laughter, “Then Sister Jing, I take it as though you have decided to take your chance with the thunderstorm.”
Ye Jing said halfheartedly, her eyes darting between the skies and the portal. “I take my chance inside. It seems better than getting drench by the rain or strike by the lightning…”
Even Feng Minyue said softly, “Let’s go in. I am afraid of the lightning…”
Xuan Danfeng gave a soft clap, “Good! Let’s go in now!…”
When she had said that, a furious purple lightning had suddenly struck a nearby tree and causing it to explode upward in flames.
Ye Jing and Feng Minyue did not need more prompting as they quickly dashed for the portal…
Xuan Danfeng took a glance at Xiaofang, “They’re really afraid of lightning…”