Chapter 53: The Iron Pagoda Trial (1)
Yuan Ji found himself staring at Ling Feiyue again.
And the two of them were once again staring at each other quietly again.
This went on for some time.
Finally Yuan Ji sighed softly, “I am a dying man soon. You should not put me into your heart. You will surely regret it.”
Ling Feiyue averted her eyes quietly as she said quietly, “This is my business and none of your business.”
Yuan Ji saw the sentimental looks that were in her eyes and he knew that their delicate relationship had now changed.
He was no longer fearful of her and had even dropped his guard in front of her.
Originally he had thought of her as his enemy and he was seeking her out to enquiry news about Xia Jiajia. But it seemed that she had no idea where Xia Jiajia was either. The only clue that he had was that Xia Jiajia may be an elusive expert from among the seven major orthodox clans.
Well, six to be exact. It was because he could rule out the Celestial Orthodox Sect in which Xue Qianxue had belonged since she could not recognize who Xia Jiajia was and there was no possibility that Xia Jiajia could belong to the Celestial Orthodox Sect.
“At least I know that Xia Jiajia is fine. I’m content now. There is no need to look for her anymore…”
With a soft sigh, he said quietly. “If I am alive after four months, I will surely look for you. I hope you don’t shove your door shut on me.”
Ling Feiyue gasped softly as she displayed a stunned look at him, “Do you mean it?”
Yuan Ji nodded. “I mean it.”
“But we’re from two different fraternities…”
Yuan Ji interrupted her gently, “Is not a problem for me.”
Ling Feiyue inhaled softly but she was soon smiling enthralling.
She quickly averted her eyes shyly before saying solemnly, “There are two saintesses that I think may be Xia Jiajia. If you want to seek her out, you may check them out. They are Saintess Jian Yuluo from the Profound Heaven Sword Manor and Saintess Fang Zhenfei from the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect.”
All of a sudden Yuan Ji was muttering, “Saintess Fang Zhenfei from the Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect?” It was because he had suddenly recalled that the veil maiden that he had seen in the vicinity of the Thousand Cloud Peaks seemed to have like blue a lot, so much that even her hairpin, belts, glove, earrings, eyelids, fingernails etc. all had a peacock blue.
It was not a peacock blue but the color of a blue phoenix!
Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect?!
The Blue Phoenix Sacred Sect was the smallest power among the seven major orthodox clans and rarely intervened in the affairs of the fraternity.
Because it was so elusive, there were many celestial powers that sought to replace its position among the seven major orthodox clans but unfortunately they were always unsuccessful in their attempts.
He sighed softly before saying to Ling Feiyue, “Thank you for the information.”
Ling Feiyue was suddenly frowning and there was a hint of displeasure in her eyes, “So who are the two beautiful maidens that are with you?”
Yuan Ji was caught unwary by her question. He had thought that she would ask him about Xue Qianxue instead.
“Should I tell her that Hua Wuwu and Hua Baiyue are from the Hundred Flower Divine Palace? Better not. I should not involve her in my own affairs. Moreover these two saintesses from the Hundred Flower Divine Palace are more dangerous than they look.”
After he had decided what was in his mind, he replied coolly. “They are my women. I need companionship along the way.”
Ling Feiyue was laughing all of a sudden, “You are lying. They can’t even be bothered to look at you with their eyes.”
Yuan Ji: …
Ling Feiyue had suddenly flipped her cloak and within a few blinks of an eye, she had expertly changed her clothing and had bundled her head up like a man.
She explained, “I’ve better cross dress myself for the time being. Surely you don’t want all the attention to be on me?”
Yuan Ji laughed, “I don’t mind.”
All of a sudden there were three groups of cultivators that had come in three different directions. These three groups consisted of many golden celestials and they were the cream of the crop from the different starting points of the first trial.
Ling Feiyue averted her glances shyly from Yuan Ji, “Guess that we have more company now.”
Yuan Ji was actually quite pleased to see the newly arrivals. It was because he was really afraid that Ling Feiyue may ask him about Xue Qianxue and he was really afraid to answer her truthfully; he had suddenly realized that she had a place in his heart now.
These three groups were all big groups but they were friendlier than Jian Menghao’s group. They were all quite polite and had greeted Yuan Ji politely.
“May we have the names of these two heroes that are ahead of us?”
“Oh, it is Young Master Ling Feiyang. I have heard of you…”
Everyone was soon exchanging pleasantries and to get to know one another.
There were many other golden celestials among the third different groups. Yuan Ji had realized that they were not from the same celestial clans and had chosen to group together to fight the high level desolate beasts.
As time flew by, more and more cultivators had arrived at the iron pagoda.
Some were not as friendly as the others but they had mostly stayed steer of the earlier groups. It was because it was common sense that the first wave of cultivators to arrive at the iron pagoda was the stronger cultivators and it was unwise to provoke them without first knowing their cultivation realms.
Except for Jian Menghao’s group, most of the first wave groups were more polite to Yuan Ji and Ling Feiyang as they recognized them as the superior cultivators for coming first.
However Yuan Ji knew that they were all keeping their trump cards as eventually everyone was also everyone’s rival in the trials. Very few actually reported their cultivation realm or celestial clans of origin. It was a common practice not to reveal these information during a trial and not because they were being impolite.
Therefore even Yuan Ji did not know which of the golden celestials were actually fifth realm, sixth realm and seventh realm in the group until they had chosen to display their profound animus either through their profound powers or auras.
But of course, Yuan Ji could still guess with a high degree of accuracy if he wanted to. It was because sixth realm golden supremacies were usually the most vocal and arrogant golden celestials. It was really not hard for him or anyone to really guess it.
The main reasons were that sixth realm supremacies regarded themselves as the stronger golden celestials and were not averted to showing off to the others. After all, they had suffered for a long time the humiliation of being fifth realm golden celestials by the other sixth realm supremacies so when they had become sixth realm supremacies themselves, they also tended to display an overbearing attitude toward the others.
Seventh realm saint cultivators were rarely encountered. Even if they had accidentally insulted a seventh realm saint, they were quick to apologize. Most of the time the saint cultivators would often ignore the slight since they tended not to be offended by these petty things.
But of course, this was the more of the norm of the orthodox fraternity rather than the entire Desolate Celestial Fraternity. The unorthodox saints were naturally less forgiving.
Soon more than three hundred cultivators had gathered at the iron pagoda before the iron gate started to creak as it opened slowly.
Yuan Ji was looking excitingly at the iron gate now. The reason why the iron gate was opening now was because there was a 50% pass rate now for one of the trials that led to this level. All in all, the number of cultivators for the second trial would be in excess of over a thousand cultivators.
The real second trial would be starting soon. He began to wonder what was inside.
Most of the remaining cultivators were still in the first trial or on their way to the iron pagoda. But unlike the first arrivals, they would not need to wait and could enter into the iron pagoda immediately.
Some of the cultivators were actually disappointed that the iron gate of the iron pagoda was opening so soon. It was because they were still trying to cultivate back as much of their profound strength as possible.
More than half of the cultivators were not entirely in their best forms. Many of them had injuries and some were even seriously wounded.
The way here was populated with fifth and sixth realm desolate beasts. To get to the iron pagoda here was not easy at all.
Yuan Ji had an amused look when he saw that Ling Feiyue was still surrounded by the many female cultivators that were around.
Ling Feiyue was like a magnet that attracted the curious maidens. She was simply too dashing.
Yuan Ji shook his head and thought, “These maidens will all soon have their tender hearts broken by Ling Feiyue…”
His thoughts were interrupted by Ling Feiyue who had managed to shake off the female cultivators, “We can finally enter the iron pagoda now.”
She was only too relieved that the trials would be starting soon.
“Why did you go?” She gave Yuan Ji an annoyed look.
“I was just round the corner. I didn’t want to disturb you with the other maidens.” Yuan Ji chuckled. “If I am around, some of the quieter maidens may not have the courage to approach you.”
Ling Feiyue returned a gentle laugh, “I hope that you’re not skulking with envious in the corner all this while.”
Yuan Ji laughed, “Who will be envious of you?”
Ling Feiyue chuckled softly before she whispered shyly, “The first time that we have met, you are so envious of me that you are even threatening me and even offer to be my big brother to teach me a trick or two about cultivation methods so long as I don’t touch your Xia Jiajia.”
Yuan Ji immediately kept quiet and he pretended to look the other way.
Luckily for him, he did not need to pretend to look the other way for too long because the iron gate of the iron pagoda was now fully swung opened.
Hundreds of cultivators were now rushing inside the iron gate with great anticipation.
Each time a cultivator had passed through the iron gate, there was a shimmering outline. This was an indication that the physical iron pagoda was actually an illusion and the real trial was actually within the space inside.
Soon Yuan Ji and Ling Feiyue had both walked inside as well. As they walked inside, they were casting forlorn looks at each other.
They soon found themselves in a grandeur dark hall and in front of them were a black stele and three portals with the colors of blue, green and yellow.
Everyone was soon touching the black stele to receive the trial knowledge and to learn more about the three portals that were in front of them.
The green portal was actually a returning portal to the valley outside the Lotus Sword Mansion.
The blue portal was to enter the next level of the trial which was the third level of the third.
The yellow portal was to take the iron pagoda trial.
Ling Feiyue smiled gently as she suggested Yuan Ji a suggestion, “We ought to go to the third level of the trial as the rewards in the upper levels are generally better. In this way, we can conserve our profound strength while ensuring that we can go as further up the trial levels as possible. There is no point to waste our efforts on the low level rewards.”
Yuan Ji rubbed his chin as he nodded, “Indeed, this is a wise suggestion.”
The spiritual force here was really sparse and they could only recover one-tenth of their profound strength here through cultivating compared to when they were at the outside.
At first Yuan Ji had thought that he could cultivate back his profound strength while waiting for the gate of the iron pagoda to open. In the end, it was just a futile effort even with his saint rate of recovery.
“So we are going to the blue portal, to the next trial level?” Ling Feiyue smiled with a hopeful look.
Yuan Ji chuckled softly, “I’m going to take the yellow portal. What about you?”
Ling Feiyue: …