Chapter 78: Willows Wind Manor
The route to the Willow Winds Manor was not easy at all. There were numerous dead ends due to the collapse of the mountain paths and some of the dead ends were not dead ends at all. If it was not for Dongfang Jun who was leading the way for them, they would never find a way through the winding mountain paths.
Along the way, Ye Jing found herself flushing continuously as she walked with Dongfang Jun. He was a head taller than her and there was a charismatic noble air that was around him. He was knowledgeable in all the six major arts of painting, calligraphy, music, history, poems and herbalism. She found herself really impressed by his knowledge but the reason why she was flushing was that he was continuously looking at her intently and through her exceptional perception, she could feel his body heat invading her vulnerable self.
Dongfang Jun had even recited a poem that was dedicated to her and this gesture touched and stirred her heart.
Finally when they were near the Willow Winds Manor, he became a little solemn and asked, “Maiden Shen Zhen, may I ask what is the purpose of your visit? It is only to view a celestial painting?”
Because Dongfang Jun had been quite hospitable along the way, Ye Jing found herself revealing more of her purpose than she wished to hide. “From the celestial painting, I wish to gain some inspiration for my celestial cultivation if it is possible. I have heard that it is a most wondrous painting that has been left behind by a great saint.”
Dongfang Jun nodded, “Indeed it is the most wondrous painting that I have ever known as well. Please don’t laugh at me but to be honest, I haven’t gained much of any inspiration from it. Maybe my enlightenment level is too low.”
Ye Jing encouraged him, “I don’t think so. Your cultivation foundation is actually quite solid. Sadly speaking, I am probably below you in this aspect at your same level.”
Dongfang Jun sighed softly, “Maybe I should really brush up on my martial skills.”
Ye Jing smiled, “You really should train hard on that. If not, how do you protect your love ones in the future?”
Dongfang Jun looked intently at her before saying, “That is so true…”
Then he quickly asked, “Do you have any further plans after this?”
Ye Jing nodded, “I intend to travel to the Desolate Celestial Fraternity.”
Dongfang Jun was jolted when he had heard it. This was not lost on the others as he raised his voice panicky to say, “Even if you have two seniors as golden celestials to company you, this is really not advisable. Trust me, please do not go there.”
Ye Jing asked curiously, “Why so?”
Dongfang Jun inhaled deeply before explaining, “Surely you have heard that there aren’t many celestials that are going there or even celestials that are from there, am I right?”
Ye Jing nodded quietly as she continued to listen.
“That is because before one can reach the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, you have to enter the Moon Demon Forest first where powerful devious beasts roamed. That is like another fraternity by itself. Do you know how vast the Moon Demon Forest is? It is as big as the domain of the Ancient Ascension Sect.”
In the Nine Celestial Fraternity, the Ancient Ascension Sect had the biggest domain that extended thousands of miles, exerting its influences over hundreds of celestial clans. Even the smallest celestial clan was likely to have a sphere of influence over several mountain peaks.
Ye Jing pondered to think how vast the Moon Demon Forest was…
In the Nine Celestial Fraternity, there were twelve powerful influences that were like kingdoms. They were the nine patriarch clans and the three major heretic sects. Even the Holy Citadel City had a vast influence of a few thousand miles, controlling numerous second and third rate celestial clans.
This Moon Demon Forest was actually bigger than four to five domains of the Holy Citadel City and was as vast as the Ancient Ascension Sect. That was really freaking vast, Ye Jing thought.
Dongfang Jun added on as he pointed at the distant mountains that were covered by the clouds, “That is not all. After that you have to scale past the impassable mountains of the Drifting Cloud Peaks. The reason why the Drifting Cloud Peaks are so named is because you can’t even see the mountain tops. All the mountains here are actually hills. It only looks small from here because we are still at an incomparable distance from the actual Drifting Cloud Peaks.”
Ye Jing and the others were all smiling weakly. It was because it was as though they just received a geography lesson. It seemed that the Willow Winds Manor was actually situated in such a no-man land. Even though it was vast but even the Heavenly Fragrance Villa had shown no interest in it. If this was the other places in the Nine Celestial Fraternity, there would already be numerous claims by the various celestial clans and autonomous celestials.
Dongfang Jun further explained, “Even if you can scale that impassable Drifting Cloud Peaks, you need to cross a vast desert to reach the other end of the desert where an even taller mountain awaits. If you can reach beyond that mountain which we call the World End Mountains, then you will be able to reach the Desolate Celestial Fraternity.”
Ye Jing smiled weakly, “How long will it take us by foot through this desert?”
Dongfang Jun smiled weakly, “I have heard that it will take two month to cross the desert.”
Ye Jing almost fainted on the spot. Two months?!
She did not have much time left. The meet at the Ancient Ascension Sect would take place in less than three month time.
It did seem that she must give up her plan to visit the Desolate Celestial Fraternity for now. But somehow she was determined to visit it as she stole a look at the frighten Yu’Er, who was shrieking. “Surely you are not thinking of going there alone…I am not going…”
Ye Jing quietly said, “It is no wonder that we don’t have many visitors from the Desolate Celestial Fraternity visiting us…”
Dongfang Jun nodded, “The last time we have a visit from the other side was centuries ago. Usually when that happens, we will need to report this matter to the nearby Mystic Realm Clan who is our next level of influence. They will then report it to the Heavenly Fragrance Villa.”
The Willow Winds Manor was a third tier celestial clan. Usually several third tier celestial clans in the same region would report important matters to a second tier celestial clan that was their main influence in order to make important decisions. At the same time all the second tier celestial clans would report directly to the patriarch celestial clan and in this case, it was the Heavenly Fragrance Villa.
Ye Jing commented, “It makes sense. Those celestials that can visit the Nine Celestial Fraternity are no ordinary celestial practitioners.”
Dongfang Jun smiled bitterly, “That may be so but I rather they don’t come. It is because most of the time that they did come, it was not with the best of intentions. Luckily, we had the celestial experts at the Heavenly Fragrance Villa and the other ally clans to repulse them in the past. But as my clan is the nearest to the Moon Demon Forest and to the Desolate Celestial Fraternity, my people is always the first to suffer.”
Ye Jing nodded as she tenderly touched his sleeve, “This is indeed not easy to run a clan around here…”
She knew how he was feeling because she was once the Holy Consort of the Holy Citadel City. Although most of the time she had shrunk from her responsibilities by letting the Lady Consort Ye to run in her place, she knew that it was not easy at all.
Moreover, this Dongfang Jun even had to go to the most desolate parts of his clan domain to police the place. He was actually the most pathetic sect leader that Ye Jing had ever seen.
Dongfang Jun suddenly pointed to a castle that was on top of a mountain peak, “We are here. This is the Willow Winds Manor.”
Ye Jing’s first impression of the castle was that it was a small vulnerable castle that had stood strong against the powerful winds of the mountains. Although the leaves of the willow trees were not strong, the strong winds were unable to sway it either. Maybe that was how the Willow Winds Manor got its name.
The mountains here were richer in spiritual veins than elsewhere. That was why the Willow Winds Manor was situated here. Ye Jing was suddenly delighted. It was because for several days now, she was completely emptied of any spiritual force and she needed a place to cultivate her foundation. She was so hungry for spiritual force that she felt that she was going crazy.
Although she had breakthrough to the sacred saint level and was now a saintess. But she could only be considered to be a half-step saintess. It was because her cultivation core had not solidified and she had not reached the initial level of the sacred saint yet. She was just a half step away.
After a breakthrough to the sacred saint level, the celestial practitioner would be emptied of all their reserve spiritual force. To regain back the reserve spiritual force was not an easy matter. The rate of absorbing spiritual force to regain the reserve spiritual force was only 1% of the normal usual rate. Some saints may even take years to properly solidify their cultivation core before they could begin at the initial sacred saint level. A half-step saint and saintess would be at their most vulnerable state at this point.
That was why when Ye Jing had met Feng Minyue again, she was still at the half-step saintess and she was reluctant to expend her precious celestial energies for if she had used up too much, it would affect her future cultivation and her celestial level boundary.
Ye Jing had many high grade soul jewels but her absorption rate was so bad that she was now looking at any potential spiritual veins like a hungry ghost.
Dongfang Jun was smiling to everyone, “Welcome to my humble abode. Please come after me.”
As Ye Jing followed Dongfang Jun, Li’Er was sighing softly behind and whispering to Chu Yunfeng. “This guy is really so mean. He may be handsome but he isn’t even paying me or anyone of us any attention. He is only talking to my protégé mistress…”
Chu Yunfeng was laughing all the way, “Now you know how good I am to you? Hehehe.”