A Martial Odyssey Book 2: The Celestial Realm – Chapter 15

The Universal Old Man

Yi Ping was alone with the Universal Old Man and he was receiving guidance and teachings from him.

The Universal Old Man said to Yi Ping, “I have never seen anyone that can increase their state of divinity as quickly as you. That is amazing!”

Yi Ping said respectfully, “That’s because protégé master you are a good teacher. The Ultrapowerful Force that you have taught me is really useful or else I won’t be able to defeat She Weilun so easily. I have fought against Gu Tianle who is also using the same martial skill but your Ultrapowerful Force is several notches higher.”

The Universal Old Man said, “That is because you are able to use it at a proper timing too.”

He stroked his long white beard as he muttered, “There are seven stages of celestial divinity; Genesis, Enlighten, Emotion, Transverse, Seventh Sense, Crisis and Ascend…you are now in the Transverse state of divinity. I can’t believe that you have started with the Enlighten level when you have come to the Celestial Realm but now you are already in the middle Transverse level in just two months. It is really amazing but also worrying.”

Yi Ping was curious as he asked, “Protégé Master is something wrong?”

The Universal Old Man said, “Each state of divinity is actually twice as hard as the previous and also twice as dangerous. But you have actually skipped from the Enlighten level to the Transverse level in such a short time. You must know that from the Enlighten level to the Emotion level and to the Transverse, it will take at least more than a hundred years for even the most gifted practitioners. And most practitioners actually take more than five hundred years and are not usual for them to take almost a thousand year. If you practice the state of divinity too fast, you will miss creating a solid foundation and this may be detrimental to your future progression. You may even hit the wall sooner than you have expected and unable to progress further. So how can I not worry?”

Yi Ping was startled as he asked panicky, “Yixian is even more astonishing than me. She is now at the Seventh Sense level and that one more before she hit the Crisis level. In the past, she has progress too fast and suffered a lot because of that. In fact, her celestial level is even higher than Lele now. Protégé Master, you must help her too…”

The Universal Old Man said regretfully, “There is nothing I can do. Each to their own destinies. The fact that the Celestial Fairy and you are able to progress so fast is something that is also beyond my understandings. I really hope that this is a good thing. Normally a practitioner has to go through three different tiers in the same celestial level in order to advance to the next level. But the two of you are skipping so fast. Alas, I really don’t get it…maybe it those pills but those pills don’t really have that much of an effect to say the truth…”

Yi Ping said solemnly, “Let hope that this is a good thing.”

The Universal Old Man laughed, “Even though state of divinity cannot be advanced through divine pills but maybe the two of you have higher state of divinity but just need those divine pills for a breakthrough.”

Yi Ping said, “Let’s hope so.”

The Universal Old Man said, “Don’t worry too much.”

Yi Ping said, “Protégé Master, can you persuade them not to go to the Dominating Aura Clan? The Celestial Realm is vast and we have not even really explored the realm yet. I think that the top priority now is to find the next possible appearance of the mysterious Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation.”

The Universal Old Man clapped his hands once as he sighed, “That is my wish too. But the Heaveness is bent on destroying the Dominating Aura Clan. She refuses to search for the Stellar Sanctuary unless I aid her first.”

Yi Ping was also sighing, “There will be many powerful and dangerous opponents. I don’t really wish to fight anymore. Shishi has repeatedly warned everyone that Ximen Nanqing is in a totally different league than the others. Alas.”

The Universal Old Man said, “All the domain lords are not easy to deal. Some attained their present positions of power through their cunning, some through their dominating divine skills, some through their ruthless, some through their brilliant and all of them didn’t attain their positions because they are weak.”

Yi Ping was solemn, “Then this expedition will be extremely perilous. Protégé Master, what should we do now?”

The Universal Old Man replied, “What shall we do? I am even more afraid than you are!”

Yi Ping was startled, “Aren’t you one of the seven most powerful celestials in the Celestial Realm and have the strength to move mountains…”

The Universal Old Man began to cough because he had suddenly choke, “My foot! That is only a metaphor. If I can really move mountains, I will be already in the Gods’ Realm! I am afraid because my Divine Wrath is coming soon. I really cannot risk hurting anyone or else I will bring forward my Divine Wrath before I am ready. I really have no confident in my forthcoming Divine Wrath.”

Yi Ping tried to encourage him, “Surely there is some other way to survive it.”

The Universal Old Man looked at him, “There is a way and it is something that I have saved up for an emergency. But now it is all gone now.”

Yi Ping asked, “What happens?”

The Universal Old Man stared at him and muttered, “Compare to my last protégé disciple that looks like you, you are ten times stupider! No wonder all the other maidens are constantly frustrated by you. Now I truly know why. You have eaten my Negative Core Divine Pill and you are asking why?”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “I’m sorry…”

The Universal Old Man sighed, “Never mind. It is all in the past now. Now we need to look forward. But first, I got something important to do. Good bye for now.”

Yi Ping was startled, “Protégé Master, don’t we have a martial instruction today? Where are you going?”

The Universal Old Man laughed jovially, “I think I have better take you along or the Heaveness will surely blame me when she sees you alone. Follow me then!”

Yi Ping nodded and was really curious.

So he began to follow the Universal Old Man who was walking very rapidly as though he was in a great hurry.

After a while because the walk was too quiet so Yi Ping asked, “Protégé Master, why is that I am not allowed to call Lingfeng as the Heaveness but you can? I don’t see her developing any allergy when you call her the Heaveness?”

The Universal Old Man laughed, “Maybe that is because I have been calling her the Heaveness for a long time so she is used to it. But for you to call her the Heaveness, maybe she has an aversion to you!”

Yi Ping groaned. It was because he did not think that was the truth.

But the Universal Old Man was laughing jovially, “It seems that you are not so stupid after all. But you need to be a little smarter in the affairs of the heart. It is not something that outsiders can help you. Good luck!”

Yi Ping did not really understand so he asked, “Where are we going? Are we reaching yet?”

The Universal Old Man said solemnly, “Be very quiet. They have really sharp ears.”

Yi Ping curiosity was piqued as he asked, “They?”

The Universal Old Man smiled, “Let me teach you a trick or two in the future so that you won’t be discovered.”

All of a sudden, he said proudly. “We have reached.”

Yi Ping saw a beautiful creek that was flowing between the mountain rocks and it was flowing downward like a mini-waterfall.

But still, Yi Ping could see no one else as he asked, “Why are we here?”

But barely had he said it aloud, the Universal Old Man pulled him aside and whispered solemnly, “Be very still and quiet. Don’t speak aloud from this point onward. Just follow me.”

Yi Ping followed the Universal Old Man down a small trail facing a rocky ledge.

Then the Universal Old Man smiled and he whispered to Yi Ping, “Follow my lead and prone on the ground.”

Yi Ping did as he was told as he eyes the Universal Old Man curiously, “What is Protégé Master doing?”

The Universal Old Man was suddenly smiling happily as he looked across the rocky ledges. He whispered to Yi Ping, “What are you waiting? Come and take a look too!”

Yi Ping was completely bewildered but was curious at the same too. But no sooner had he looked over rocky ledges, he was stunned!

It was because he was overlooking a crystal clear small lake and he could see ten beautiful maidens frolicking in the lake!

Even though they were very far away but with Yi Ping’s keen eyesight, he could see Yixian, Lele, Lie Qing, Shen Xingyue, Xiao Youxue and the others.

Yixian was the most eye-catching because her graceful demeanor and gentle demeanor was the most captivating.

But the rest of the maidens were no less than captivating!

Xiao Youxue was very mesmerizing, Lie Qing was enchanting, Lingfeng was alluring, and every one of the maidens was beautiful in their own extraordinary ways!

There was a tickle of blood from Yi Ping’s nose!

The Universal Old Man laughed softly, “You seem to be enjoying it more than I.”

Yi Ping immediately protested but he was stammering, “I…I…”

The Universal Old Man smiled jovially, “Don’t worry. At this distance and with the running streams that are around us, even if they have exceptional hearings they won’t be able to know we are watching them. I know all the blind spots of the Heaveness, how far she can see and hear. Just enjoy the view.”

Yi Ping was flustered, “Protégé Master, this is not right. Let’s leave immediately. We…we are peeking and that is wrong…”

The Universal Old Man laughed softly, “But you have already peeked. If you do not tell, I do not tell, there are no third, fourth, fifth people around, who will know?”

Yi Ping said solemnly, “This is not about others knowing or not knowing. It is about doing the right thing…”

The Universal Old Man had a sudden thought before he patted Yi Ping hard, “My protégé, do you know that I am doing it for your own good? This is part of your martial training!”

Yi Ping asked, “For my own good? For my martial training? I don’t see any connection…”

The Universal Old Man interrupted him as he tried to sound righteous, “Haha! That is when you are wrong. In the Celestial Realm if you want to survive, you must train your focus, eyesight and willpower! That’s right. Willpower! I am training your willpower now. Look at you, with a little temptation, you start to nosebleed already. If your willpower is weak, how are you going to defeat opponents that are stronger than you?”

Yi Ping was startled as he sighed, “I have accidentally learnt the Absolute Spirits Intricacy Skill. But somehow, whenever I am with them I will still feel fluster. It seems that I do need to train my willpower further…”

The Universal Old Man secretly thought, “That is shyness, idiot! But I am not going to tell you or else I will be in trouble…”

So he said, “Do you know why I can become one of the seven most powerful celestials?”

Yi Ping shook his head but he was now respectful for he felt that the Universal Old Man was trying to enlighten him so that he could become better, “Please enlighten me!”

The Universal Old Man whispered, “In the past, I sneak on the Heaveness all the time. I didn’t succeed at first but eventually, I have become very good in it. As I have mentioned earlier, I know all the Heaveness weakness and blind spots. If you can sneak up to the Heaveness without her knowing, then you are definitely on the right track to become a highly attained celestial!”

Yi Ping was impressed, “Is that why you are always with the Heaveness?”

The Universal Old Man laughed jovially, “That’s right! You are smarter now! So today lesson is to train your focus and willpower as well as teach you a trick or two about stealth. Got it?”

Yi Ping lowered his head as he bowed, “Protégé Master, I have wronged you! You have my interest at heart! From now on, I will practice diligently!”

The Universal Old Man laughed, “That is my good protégé! When you are as good as me, then you will become one of the top celestials in the Celestial Realm…”

Yi Ping said, “Protégé Master there is something that I must tell you…”

The Universal Old Man interrupted with a smile, “You can wait for later. There isn’t much time to lose. We have already waste plenty of time talking…”

But suddenly Yi Ping said, “Protégé Master, why is that I can count only seven…Xian’Er, Xingyue and Lingfeng isn’t there anymore?”

The Universal Old Man turned pale immediately, “Oh no! We must evacuate immediately…”

“Where do you think you are going?”

Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man turned pale immediately for they had recognized Lingfeng’s voice!

They looked up immediately and saw that Ji Lingfeng, Shui Yixian and Shen Xingyue were looking coldly at them!

If Yi Ping did not look up, it would be better but when he looked up and saw that they were being wrapped in their makeshift dress around them and were just covering their bodice, he had turned completely red!

The Universal Old Man was startled as he muttered, “That is not possible. I did everything right…”

Lingfeng said coldly, “The two of you, what do you think you are doing?”

Yixian was quiet as she asked shyly, “Ping’Er, can you explain yourself?”

Shen Xingyue was looking at Yi Ping with numbed shock, “We have thought it may be an enemy but it is the two of you. You are peeping at us?”

Yi Ping quickly said, “Protégé Master says that…”

The Universal Old Man quickly interrupted, “My eyesight is failing and Ping’Er offered to help me improve my eyesight. I have never expected that my good protégé is such a young man!”

He quickly patted Yi Ping on his back hard when he noticed that he was trying to interrupt him, “This is wrong! If I know that he would do this, I would never have followed him! Let’s forgive him for he is young after all. I am sure he will repent and won’t do it again. Am I right, my good protégé?”

Yi Ping sighed as he nodded, “I…I repent…”

The Universal Old Man laughed but he was soon very solemn, “That…that is my good protégé. You must know that emotions are detrimental to our future progressions. We are celestials now and should cultivate the Way. There are many temptations along. We ought to maintain the righteousness in our heart and seek enlightenment in whatever we can. You still have much to learn but I have full confident in you.”

Yi Ping looked at the Universal Old Man with a shocked expression!

But he quickly thought, “Maybe it is part of my training. If the Universal Old Man is alone then he won’t be discovered. Because he is with me, he is discovered. I should therefore shoulder the blame for the failure of this training…”

The Universal Old Man quickly asked, “How did you discover this rascal?”

Yi Ping was startled as he thought, “Did my Protégé Master just call me a rascal?”

Yixian smiled, “I have been training my hearing in the snowstorm in the Heavenly Mountains. Now that I have reached the Celestial Level of the Seventh Sense, all my senses are further amplified. I can hear even a pin dropping on the soft grass. At this range, it isn’t surprising to know if someone is in the vicinity.”

The Universal Old Man was startled as he secretly thought, “She could detect an intruder from this far away? Her hearing is even sharper than some of the Ancient Celestials that I know. Next time, I must stay further away.”

He turned to ask the Heaveness, “How did you find him?”

He was exceptional curious. It was because he was sure that the Heaveness could not possible known that they were peeping from here!

Lingfeng sighed softly, “I sneeze because someone mentions my name and…”

She looked at Yi Ping quietly who was looking ashamed of himself and he was extremely awkward. So she simply smiled and did not continue.

The Universal Old Man was stunned as he thought, “I really forget that the Heaveness is sensitive to Yi Ping mentioning her name even though he has mentioned to me. Alas, I am so careless. Next time, no…there won’t be a next time. I won’t take him with me anymore.”

He turned to ask Shen Xingyue, “How did you find us then?”

Shen Xingyue was smiling gently and her golden eyes were beaming but she said nothing.

All of a sudden, Yi Ping pointed and said aloud in shock. “Xingyue, your eyes! It is golden!”

Shen Xingyue smiled gently, “That is right! I am now a True Celestial! I have reached the Ascend Level now. I have only discovered this morning when I have fully recovered from my injuries and was trying to clear all my channels.”

Yi Ping was really very happy for her and he quickly said, “This is not easy. Congratulations! I still have a long way before I can become a true celestial practitioner.”

The Universal Old Man clapped his hands, “That is right! Just before the transmigration, the eyes of the celestial practitioner will turn from gray to gold and yours has been gray. But you have ascended prematurely and that may explains why your eyes did not turn golden until now. That is a good thing! Now that you are a True Celestial, your physical limitations are even greater than before…”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly for this time he knew what the Universal Old Man was about to say to him, “That is why she too, is able to notice our prying eyes…”

Shen Xingyue giggled softly, “Then you are very wrong!”

Yi Ping was startled, “Why so?”

She pointed to the other direction and this time, Yi Ping saw that the other seven maiden were also here as she said, “All of us knows that you are here as well.”

Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man were startled!

The Universal Old Man asked, “That is impossible! This distance is already so far!”

Lele swung her long black scythe into the ground with a thunderous impact as she looked at the Universal Old Man, “We have all heard you.”

The Universal Old Man was stunned, “Heard us? That is impossible…”

Dugu Yunzi sighed, “There are many creeks and ravines in these mountains. Your voices are echoed and carried down to us. Now you got it?”

The Universal Old Man was stunned as he stammered, “That is, that is…”

In the past, he was alone and had no one to talk with. That was why he was never been discovered by the Heaveness.

Shen Xingyue smiled, “Now you get it?”

What else could the Universal Old Man do except to smile bitterly!

Lingfeng said coldly, “Old man, today we have a score to settle and you have a lot of explaining to do.”

Mei’Er said, “What a lousy Protégé Master. It is obviously you that is trying to mislead our Master and yet you are trying to make him the scapegoat.”

Yu’Er said coldly, “That’s right!”

Lie Qing pulled Yi Ping as she chuckled softly, “Ping’Er, let’s us go now.”

Yi Ping asked, “Where to?”

Lie Qing winked at him, “We having a bath below. Come and join us…”

Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man were suddenly coughing out for breathe for they had almost choked when they had heard that!

The Stellar Heaven Fairy smiled sweetly, “I don’t mind for Yi Ping to join us but this old man is a no, no for me.”

Xiao Youxue was already standing beside Lingfeng and they were being surrounded by a deadly cold demeanor as they stared at the Universal Old Man!

The Universal Old Man took a step back, “No wait. Don’t force me to fight back. I am having my tribulation soon…”

Lingfeng said coldly, “You can have your retribution first!”