Chapter 47: Prelude to the Lotus Sword Mansion Trial (1)
Three days later, Yuan Ji and the two saintess sisters had gathered in a desolate valley that was thirty miles away from the border town.
When he had reached the desolate valley, more than five thousand cultivators had already arrived and they were all filling the desolate valley with their loud chatters.
Li Ye was not around as Yuan Ji had asked him to take up his duties as an elder immediately. After giving him a token of the Emperor Hall Sect and a voice transmission slip that recorded a message for Fairy Ye Chengxi, Yuan Ji had bid him farewell.
He had patted Li Ye on his shoulder with a mischievous grin, “Don’t worry. I have a way to make sure Ling Feiyang keeps his distance away from my sisters. But whether you can successfully woo my sisters is another matter entirely.”
When Li Ye heard him, he was delighted immediately and happily went on his way.
“Ling Feiyang won’t like my sisters because he is a maiden. Haha. As for whether you can successfully woo these two saintess sisters, it is none of my business.”
Yuan Ji sighed softly as he quickly grew solemn, “I’ve only said that because you are troubled by the matters of the heart. You must know that we are all celestial cultivators and we ought to cultivate our hearts first or else your life and death tribulations would be a woeful one.”
He had already been through three life and death tribulations so naturally he knew it better than anyone else.
His last tribulation was actually a roller coaster ride and there were a few times that he had thought that he had almost lost it. But it was the hundred year pledge that Xia Jiajia had given him that had steeled his heart and had overcome his regrets for him, enabling him to eventually overcome his Seventh Realm Life and Death Tribulation.
“Brother Li Yuan.” A gentle voice called to him and it was Ling Feiyang.
“Young Master Ling!” Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue called out to him with a soft chuckle.
“Brother Ling.” Yuan Ji greeted him.
Ling Feiyang frowned lightly when she saw Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue, “Li Wu, Li Yue. You are here too? Didn’t I ask you not to come…”
Hua Wuwu chuckled softly, “Don’t worry, we won’t enter the trial and we will just stay put here.”
“That’s right.” Hua Baiyue laughed softly. “We’re here to lend the two of you our spiritual support.”
Ling Feiyang heaved a soft sigh of relief. “That’s great.”
Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue were secretly winking at each other. After they had realized that Ling Feiyang was actually a seventh realm great saint, they had decided to stay put. It was because they were pretending to be only a fifth realm cultivator and they did not want Ling Feiyang to know that they were also at the seventh realm level.
Yuan Ji knew that they were trying to portray themselves as vulnerable maidens and he was secretly smiling, “If Ling Feiyue knows that they are the cold blood killers from the Hundred Flower Divine Flower, I wonder what she will thinks?”
He did not want to expose their deceits to Ling Feiyang because their matters got nothing to do with him. Moreover, he may still need ‘their’ protection.
However there was a slight problem with his plans now. Originally he had needed their protection when he was confronting the Dark Mistress Ling Feiyue. But due to a chance encounter with ‘Ling Feiyang’ in the town here, his two undependable protectors had now fallen in love with him.
“Well, that’s why they are my undependable protectors in the first place.”
He added with another muse, “I’m actually grateful to them for helping me to pass my message to Qianxue. At least we are all technically ‘friends’ for the next four months before we officially become enemies.”
All of a sudden he saw a group of cultivators had approached them. It was actually led by Duan Tian.
“Young Master Ling!” Duan Tian hastily greeted him. “You’re here as well.”
“Supremacy Duan Tian.” Ling Feiyang greeted gently.
“Since Young Master Ling is also here, why don’t you join me instead? My group has three supremacies, three celestials and thirty others. We will definitely have an easier time together. After all, the dangers of the Lotus Sword Mansion are many and there are no desolate beasts that are below the fifth rank inside.”
Then Dian Tian said in a low voice, “We can also offer you some protection against the other cultivators. After all, there are many unorthodox cultivators presented here as well.”
Ling Feiyang returned a gentle smile, “I have already agreed to go with Brother Li Yuan here.”
Duan Tian frowned as he stared at Yuan Ji, “Alright then but if you change your mind, please let me know anytime.”
Yuan Ji grinned sarcastically as he put his hands to his back, “I shall not see you off.”
Dian Tian ignored him completely as he left with his group.
Yuan Ji turned to ask Ling Feiyang, “Are you sure that you do not want to go with him? His group is a formidable one. I really don’t mind entering the trial alone.”
Ling Feiyang shook his head gently, “Actually I don’t really know him that well.”
Yuan Ji was surprised to hear that, “But you are addressing the wrongs for him a while back and you have even confronted me because of him.”
“He had shown me some hospitality when I had first arrived in the town. His War Sovereign Sect is one of the five major influences in these parts.” Ling Feiyang explained nonchalantly.
Yuan Ji found himself staring at her as he pondered with a perplexed look, “Why did she always keep a nonchalant look? If I haven’t seen her mesmerizing chuckles in the mountain wilderness that time, I will find it hard to believe that they are actually the same person.”
He still remembered her mesmerizing chuckles that caused him to have a sinful look at her at that time.
He quickly pulled himself from his thoughts, “Let’s not forget that you have already offended her. If she were to find out who you are, she will not hesitate to kill you in the next instant.”
“And let’s not forget that you are only making use of her to find out where Jiajia is and who she is.”
Ling Feiyang had suddenly interrupted his thoughts as she asked him, “Brother Li Yuan, may I know what are your odds against the sixth rank and seventh rank desolate beasts?”
Yuan Ji heaved a soft sign, “50/50 for a sixth rank desolate beast and 30% chance against a seventh rank desolate beasts.”
A sixth rank desolate beast was equivalent to the strength of a sixth rank supremacy and a seventh rank desolate beast was equivalent to a saint level cultivator.
As for eighth and ninth rank desolate beasts, they were stronger than most saints and even great saints may perish in a one to one fight with them.
Ling Feiyang nodded lightly, “Since there are two of us, a single sixth rank desolate beast may not be so threatening. However a seventh rank desolate beast is another matter entirely. We should try to avoid a fight with the higher rank desolate beasts unless it is absolutely necessary.”
Yuan Ji nodded. It was sheer common sense.
All of a sudden, there were several large commotions from the thousands of cultivators that had gathered.
It was because a group of fierce looking cultivators had suddenly entered into the valley.
“It is the Flying Daggers Divine Sect…”
“Their leader is Saint Mo Xingku. He is an initial seventh realm expert. He had killed countless number of cultivators…”
“Shhh. Not so loud!”
“There are rules against fighting here. Moreover, there are so many righteous orthodox cultivators around here. Do we need to be afraid of these unorthodox cultivators?”
“Look, there is Saint Wu Heng from the Burning Heavens Pavilion. The Burning Heavens Pavilion is one of the seven major orthodox clans. With him around, that Saint Mo Xingku will not dare to be reckless.”
“There are actually two powers from the seven major orthodox clans here today. Over there is the Profound Heaven Sword Manor. The Profound Heaven Sword Manor is among the top three orthodox powers.”
“There are many geniuses in the ranks of the Profound Heaven Sword Manor and their Profound Heaven Sword is ranked as the best sword art in the Desolate Celestial Fraternity.”
“There are no sights of the three unorthodox powers?”
“What? Are you praying for your death wish?”
“Hehe. I’m just wondering if we can get to see the astonishing beauty of the Dark Mistress Ling Feiyue of the Spirit Blue Moon Sect.”
“You’re such a lecher…”
“Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue are the two beautiful goddesses of the Desolate Celestial Fraternity before we have the four great beauties.”
“I’ve heard that Fairy Ye Chengxi had recently got married. I wonder who that lucky bastard?”
Yuan Ji: …
“Bastard? He calls me a bastard?” He was frowning lightly.
“And Palace Mistress Xia Jiaqing has gone missing now. So I guess that we only have two eligible goddesses leftover now…”
“No one will be able to court Xue Qianxue successfully. She has devoted herself to the Great Dao of Cultivation. I have heard that she is on a verge of becoming a great saintess.”
“There is a rumor that Xue Qianxue had a real chance of becoming a great saintess if she was able to defeat Ling Feiyue in a secret duel between them a hundred years ago.”
“Alas, it is a pity that Ling Feiyue seemed to have gained an upper hand and she was able to elevate her state of divinity to a higher level after that secret duel. Later on, she had challenged the Lightning Tribulation and had overcome it. Now she is among the top cultivators of the unorthodox fraternity.”
Yuan Ji was startled as he listened to the conversations of the cultivators. He really did not know the secret duel that he had witnessed was so important to both Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue. And he had screwed up Xue Qianxue’s chance of becoming a great saintess.
He was beginning to feel a sense of hostilities toward Ling Feiyue as he stole a glance at her.
When Ling Feiyue suddenly saw that Yuan Ji was looking at her, she returned a gentle smile to him while continuing her chitchat with Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue.
When Yuan Ji saw that she had suddenly smiled at him, his hostilities had suddenly vanished from his face.
He was suddenly growling to himself, “Ji Yuan, Ji Yuan. Do not fall for her beauty trick. Have you forgotten that she had played you a hundred years ago? Yes, she had played you a hundred years ago with Xia Jiajia. But I can feel that Xia Jiajia is sincere toward me. I had only given her a worthless precious sword and in return, she had given me an earth grade divine sword.”
All of a sudden he had a scary thought. What if Xia Jiajia was being held against her will and was forced to help Ling Feiyue?
“I can’t trust Ling Feiyue completely. It is because I know that she is only telling me a half-truth. Obviously she knows who Xia Jiajia is but she just refuses to tell me. Of course she doesn’t want anyone to know what had happened a hundred year ago. She had used guile to win the duel with Xue Qianxue.”
All of a sudden a group of protégés from the Profound Heaven Sword Manor had descended upon him as they surrounded him.
“You there! Do you still remember us?” A golden celestial was staring coldly at him.
Yuan Ji blinked his eyes as he frowned lightly, “Do I even know you at all? I don’t think that we have even met before…”
The golden celestial interrupted him coldly, “You certainly have a short memory. Aren’t you so arrogant at the Holy Maidens Peaks a month ago? You’re the only person that Sacred Maiden Xue Qianxue is willing to see. That is so weird. After you had seen her, she had suddenly announced that she is entering into a cultivation retreat. It is really such a coincidence, don’t you think so?”
This golden celestial was actually Third Young Master Jian Menghao. That day when he had heard that Xue Qianxue was only willing to see him, he was one of those that had jumped off the mountain cliff in great despair.
But of course, he was not killed by the great fall and had survived. After all, those that had jumped off the mountain cliffs were all golden celestials and their golden bodies were able to take a great deal of punishments. It was their way of venting their frustrations and their broken hearts.
“I’m Third Young Master Jian Menghao. Just you wait! I will get you inside the trial. Don’t let me catch you.” With that he had coldly walked off with his group.
Yuan Ji was frowning lightly after Jian Menghao had left.
All of a sudden he had noticed that Ling Feiyue was suddenly staring coldly at him and he got a startled fright.
She must have overheard their earlier conversations that he had gone to see Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue had a personal feud with Xue Qianxue.
Before the trial had started, he had already offended Jian Menghao and Ling Feiyue!
All of a sudden the groups that were from the Burning Heavens Pavilion and Flying Dagger Divine Sect were all pointing at him and were saying, “Yes, we are sure. He is the one that has sheltered Li Ye.”
Yuan Ji suddenly had a sheepish look as he cursed silently, “Li Ye, why didn’t you tell me that you have also offended the Burning Heavens Pavilion and the Flying Dagger Divine Sect at the same time too?”
Now he had four groups of enemies to deal with.
It was a lucky thing that the two sister saintesses were still on his side.
No, better make it five groups of enemies. They are so undependable and are obviously siding with Ling Feiyue…
All of a sudden there were shouts from the cultivators in front of them, “The trials are opening now…”