The Celestial Fairy
When Yi Ping regained his consciousness, he found himself in what seemed to be a dimly lit cave. His first thoughts were that he had already died and he was in hell. But when he saw that his wounds had already been dressed and that he was aching painfully, he knew that somehow he was still alive.
That was because a dead man would never feel pain.
Then he noticed there was a small bonfire in the cave which kept the cave warm.
He tried to sit up and that took all his efforts. As he looked in front of him, all of a sudden, he saw the young and extremely beautiful maiden that he had seen earlier. She appeared to be mediating but before he could say anything, the maiden moved her small alluring lips and spoke, “You should rest more. Your wounds are extremely severe and you may lose your life because of that.”
Yi Ping stared at her dreamily. He could not imagine it was real!
The alluring maiden soon flushed deeply as she interrupted gently, “Why are you staring at me? Don’t you know that is a rude gesture to stare? And who are you?”
Yi Ping was snapped of his trance and he quickly bowed with his hands, “Maiden, I thank you for saving my life from The Three Evils! I, Yi Ping am in your debts! May I know my benefactor name?”
The alluring young maiden said coolly, “They are not the Three Evils of the West. They are imposters and their martial skills are mediocre. Or else even with your Icy Heavenly Tears Energy protecting you, you will still die.”
Yi Ping was bewildered and asked, “What Icy Heavenly Tears Energy?”
The alluring young maiden was silence for some time before she said, “You can call me Maiden Xian. Let me ask you. Who is your protégé master? Why did you come to the Heavenly Mountains?”
Yi Ping replied, “I have no protégé master. All my skills are self-taught…”
Maiden Xian opened her eyes and interrupted angrily, “Nonsense! I have examined your pulses earlier and your pulses emitted the Icy Heavenly Tears Energy Pulses. That is what is protecting your heart from harm. Or else even if you have ten lives, you still will not survive!”
Yi Ping was astonished and puzzled, “Maiden…this is the first time that I have heard of that name…”
Maiden Xian looked intently at him for a few moments before she said, “Do you know Shui Yichi?”
Yi Ping said, “Maiden, I do not want to lie to you. She is my late mother!”
Maiden Xian was momentarily stunned as she was heard saying in a low voice, “She is no longer in this world?” She seemed to be shaken by the news before she asked, “How long was that?”
Yi Ping was curious as he said, “She passed away when I was little…” His eyes were teething with tears as he recalled his sad childhood. “Maiden Xian, you know my late mother?”
Then he paused and almost punched himself. How could she possible know his late mother? She looked younger than twenty. Even he himself, was older than her!
Just as he was recovering from his foolhardy words, she gave him another shocker.
“Indeed! She was my protégé sister. She left the Eternal Ice Palace twenty-years because of one man. She must have imparted all her martial energy to you…that explains why I can find our sect intricate energy in your body meridians…”
Just as he wanted to ask her who she really was, a wicked laughter filled the cave; a large bulky man with red beard had just barged into sight.
The red beard man laughed, “If it isn’t for this bonfire here, I would never find this place! What have we here? A couple?”
Maiden Xian said, “He is Huo Fu the Flaming Fist, the sect leader of the Fire Tablet Sect. He must be here to look for an opportunity to loot the Eternal Ice Palace.”
The red beard man laughed, “I didn’t know I am so famous that even junior pugilists can identify me. Don’t we all have the same motives? I am getting cold and this fire is just nice!” But all of a sudden, he took a second look at the dress of Maiden Xian and said, “You are from the Eternal Ice Palace?”
Maiden Xian looked at him hatefully and replied coldly, “That’s right!”
Huo Fu laughed, “Good, good! You have two options. Either you show me the way to the Eternal Ice Palace or be subjected to my merciless torture. I can assure you that I won’t let you die so easily.” He took a deep breath before laughing out again, “After all, I can see that you are a rare beauty and I won’t let you die so easily.”
Yi Ping was shocked as he stood up, “The Fire Tablet Sect may not be an orthodox clan but they do have some repute in the martial fraternity. How can you say such a thing?”
Huo Fu had a wicked smile on his face, “Who do not covet after the martial secrets of the Eternal Ice Palace? Now that the Celestial Fairy had passed away, countless legions of pugilists have already been making their way here. Among them, are several supposedly heroes from the orthodox clans. Naturally, they did not dare to use their real names. Some did not even dare to travel boldly and travel under a disguise for they are men of high repute in the fraternity! When it is time for them to strike, they will make all sorts of excuses like passing by and claiming that they are righting the wrongdoings of evil men!”
Yi Ping hummed coldly.
Huo Fu looked at him, sensing his hostilities. “I thought you are on my side. The Eternal Ice Palace is a forbidden ground for men. Surely, you can’t be from the Eternal Ice Palace too?”
Then Huo Fu clapped his right fist on his left palm as he said, “The intrigue of the martial fraternity is not to be underestimate!”
He pointed his finger at Yi Ping and said, “You must be trying to seduce this young maiden here and almost on the verge of succeeding. You are trying to be the first to sneak into the Eternal Ice Palace, am I right?”
Yi Ping was speechless. He replied coldly, “Senior, you think too much!”
Maiden Xian looked away. Her cheeks were momentarily flushed from his audacity.
Huo Fu laughed, “The young uses their wits while the old uses their strength!”
Yi Ping was indignant and he raised both his palms to attack Huo Fu, “Senior, be prepared for my attack!”
Huo Fu suddenly smiled as he raised both his palms and there was a thunderous clap when both palms impacted together. Yi Ping was thrown off and sent flying backward, knocking against the wall of the cave and crushing into it!
Maiden Xian got up as she cried out, “Hold!”
But it was too late! It happened too fast! She could see that this Huo Fu was an experienced exponent. He had purposely provoked Yi Ping into attacking him so that he could see what stance his opponent would use. As Yi Ping was with her, and was still wary of the martial of the Eternal Ice Palace therefore he had used a ruse.
Huo Fu laughed, “Such simpleton! I was expecting some forms of secret projectiles. Despite knowing that I am the sect leader of the Fire Tablet Sect, he still dares to receive my Fiery Palms. When he attacks me, I already know the depth of his martial strength!”
He looked intently at Maiden Xian, “You seem to be smarter than him but unfortunately, your reaction is too slow. That speaks volumes of our martial strength differences. If your martial skill is to be on par with me, you will be able to intercept him.”