A Martial Odyssey Book 2: The Celestial Realm – Chapter 23

The Celestial Star Chart

The Celestial Star Chart was large, measuring five metres width by three metres in height.

Yu’Er and Mei’Er carefully laid it on a large table that was in the chamber as they examined the map carefully.

They quickly got into the act by tossing bronze coins rapidly on the table and rapidly arranging them together with their slender fingers.

Yi Ping was completely mesmerized by them as he observed their intense expressions and sparking eyes.

All of a sudden, he was a little startled.

It was because he had always regarded Yu’Er and Mei’Er as little sisters to be protected.

He knew well enough how they had felt towards him but it was precisely for the same reason that he did not want to hurt them that he had never for once looked directly at them.

But today, he was suddenly aware that standing in front of him were two mesmerizing and sensual maiden in black translucent velvet dresses. They were extremely beautiful and their expressions were sharp and brilliant!

He had never seen them in this perspective before!

His heart was suddenly pounding hard as he watched them quietly…

All of a sudden, Lingfeng stepped on his foot and he was freed from his stupor. He asked, “Lingfeng, why do you step me for?”

Lingfeng smiled alluringly at him and she whispered with her Great Whispering Skill, “You! You are as bad and lecherous as that Nangong Le!”

Yi Ping was startled, “I…”

Lingfeng had secretly linked the Great Emptiness Translucence Skill with him, so she was able to sense his emotions. However, this was something that she did not want to reveal to him. It was because if Yi Ping knew that the Great Emptiness Translucence had this affinity linking, he could also block her as well. But if he did not know, then there was no way for him to know this little secret unless he could reach the epitome of the Great Emptiness Translucence Skill!

Yu’Er said breathlessly as though she was afraid of losing her focus while she was still rearranging the bronze coins seemingly in a patterned manner, “Surely this Astrologer Sage must be a highly accomplished musician. These harmonic patterns are according to the fifth, seventh pitches and this is arranged to the ninth harmonics. I am accomplished only to the seventh harmonics but all I can do now is to try my best.”

Mei’Er too gasped breathlessly as her eyes were everywhere on the Celestial Star Chart, “Sister, tell me if that is correct. This patterned sign here is the clue to the eighth harmonics?”

Yu’Er took a quick look before she exclaimed excitedly, “That may be! Let’s us try it!”

They began to reach out frantically with their nimble fingers on the map as they encircled the table at the same time, totally oblivious to everyone.

Yi Ping was not the only one in awe. The rest of the maidens were dazzled by their dazzling deciphering speed!

Even the Stellar Heaven Fairy and the Ascension Goddess who were also highly gifted in music were in awe.

The Ascension Goddess muttered, “In the past, the Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddesses were said to be geniuses in mathematics and music. If I didn’t see it today with my own eyes, I cannot believe it…”

Yi Ping was startled as he asked, “But they are not, am I right?”

The Ascension Goddess smiled mysteriously, “You never know. They have extremely high attainment and are one of the first Ascendants members.”

She winked at Shen Xingyue and said, “I didn’t see my dear protégé sister for just a hundred over years and her attainment is now on par with me.”

Shen Xingyue shifted uncomfortably without saying anything.

Yi Ping asked, “Just over a hundred years? Shouldn’t that be over a thousand years?”

The Ascension Goddess said solemnly, “Just over a hundred years.”

Even Shen Xingyue was surprised, “Really? I know for sure you have ascended over a thousand years ago!”

The Ascension Goddess smiled, “My protégé sister, you may not know this but time passes differently in the Celestial Realm than the Mortal Realm.”

Everyone except for the Stellar Heaven Fairy, Lingfeng and the Universal Old Man expressed astonishment.

Lingfeng explained calmly, “One year in the Celestial Realm is actually equivalent to ten years in the Mortal Realm.”

The Ascension Goddess stole a glance at Yu’Er and Mei’Er before saying, “The Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddesses have been in the Mortal Realm for millenniums. You can imagine their level of divinity and attainment.”

Yi Ping also stole a glance at Yu’Er and Mei’Er who were completely focused on deciphering the Celestial Star Chart. He was amazed that they could do so without being distracted by their conversations. But he also knew that the intricacy heart formula of the Eternal Ice Palace was the Emotionless Rhyme and was one of the most focused heart intricacy skill in the martial fraternity.

But at the same time, Yi Ping was sighing softly.

Lele’s expressions were melancholy and she was clenching her hands to her bosoms.

It was because they were both thinking of the same thing. Their daughter must be around four years old now if that was the case and they had missed the most important period of her young life.

Yi Ping thought regretfully, “Hopefully one day we are able to have a reunion together as a family but I will rather that you stay on the Mortal Realm and lead an ordinary life.”

At this moment, he did not yet know that his daughter was a born Celestial and would not be affected by the Divine Calamity and was destined to ascend to the Celestial Realm. But that was another story for now.

Lingfeng and the Ascension Goddess were affected by Yi Ping’s downhearted thoughts but they did not know what to say to him.

All of a sudden, the Ascension Goddess tried to cheer him up as she smiled shyly. “Yi Ping, how come you have never tried to ask for my name?”

Indeed Yi Ping was immediately distracted as he stammered under the graceful gaze of her enthralling smile, “I…aren’t you the Ascension Goddess?”

He had only known her briefly so he never had the opportunity to know her real name. And the truth was, they had start off as enemies!

The Ascension Goddess laughed softly, “I am sure everyone knows my celestial name by now. But you don’t want to know your future wife name?”

Yi Ping was suddenly flustering.

Lele said coolly, “What future wife? You still have to ask us if we permit you to do so. Don’t you forget that we still have an unfinished fight? Why are we letting a spy and an enemy into this chamber?”

Yunzi tried to hold her back but Lele broke free of her and had stepped forward with a defensive stance.

Yixian immediately said, “Lele, calm down please. She…I…she is one of us now…”

Not only Lele, Lie Qing and Shen Xingyue had also stepped forward!

Lie Qing said coldly, “Anyone that tries to hurt Lele will have to fight me as well!”

Shen Xingyue added coldly, “It seems someone forget to bring her divine sword and is addressing us with disdain.”

Yixian, Youxue, Yunzi, the Stellar Heaven Fairy and Lingfeng looked at each other, not knowing what to do. By right, they should aid Lele, Lie Qing and Shen Xingyue but they also knew that the Ascension Goddess seemed to have an attachment to Yi Ping and was just upset that she was being challenged.

So unless a real fight had occurred, then they would act.

The Ascension Goddess arranged her white and gold dress as she addressed them with an arrogant smirk, “Divine sword or no, I have already become one with the sword. I do not require a divine sword to fight juniors like you. You can all come for me at the same time. It is my pleasure to teach you all a painful lesson and for being disrespectful to me!”

She took a quick look at Yi Ping shyly before saying coolly to her challengers, “And the only one that is going to duo celestial with Yi Ping is me.”

This raised the eyebrows of Yixian and Youxue who had immediately stepped forward at the same time too!

The Ascension Goddess said, “Good! Every harem has a pecking order. We shall determine the new hierarchy then with our martial skills!”

Youxue said coldly, “And only the top in the ranking will be allowed to duo celestial with Ping’Er then!”

Yi Ping was panicky as he quickly said, “There is no need for a real fight. I am not going to duo celestial with anyone…”

But he was completely ignored by the maidens as they stared intensely at each other!

The Universal Old Man was also pleading aloud, “All these martial treasures and artefacts, all these martial treasures and artefacts…”

He was panicky and was now grabbing as many scrolls as possible!

Shen Xingyue said coolly, “There must be a number one, a number two and a number three. We cannot delay this inevitable anymore.”

Even Yunzi was secretly agreeing with her, “Even though we are all close sisters and have a mutual respect for each other but still, there have to be an order. I may not lose. After all, I am also a celestial practitioner now…”

The Stellar Heaven Fairy was secretly excited, “I can be included too?”

Perhaps Yixian the Celestial Fairy knew what everyone was thinking so she said gently, “Everyone today have an opportunity to prove their martial skills and to determine their positions in this new hierarchy. I am Yi Ping’s first wife and I don’t mind that we determine the new hierarchy in this manner.”

Now that Yixian had announced it, all the maidens were excited except for Yu’Er and Mei’Er who were still engrossed in deciphering the Celestial Star Chart in this huge chamber. They were all secretly looking at each other and forming secret alliances at the same time.

Even the Ascension Goddess was secretly looking at Shen Xingyue who nodded lightly and they seemed to have already reached a secret agreement to defeat the other maidens first!

But of course, most of the maidens’ primary target was still the Ascension Goddess because she was the most powerful and threatening in the group!

The Stellar Heaven Fairy laughed softly as she looked at Lele, Yixian and Yixian, “I may be your protégé mistress but you don’t have to be polite to me. After all, I am a Golden Celestial in my own right.”

Lele smiled bitterly as she looked at Lie Qing uncomfortably.

Even though the Stellar Heaven Fairy was warning them not to be soft on her but she was also warning them subtly that she was their protégé mistress!

Therefore they should not initiate an attack on her first as it was an extremely sacrilegious act!

Yixian was completely emotionless; her entire focus was on all the slightest movements of her opponents. She had rarely allowed herself to be distracted in a fight and her dignity did not allow for failures. She was determined to claim her rightful position as Yi Ping’s first wife!

Youxue and Yunzi had known each other since childhood. Therefore they were natural allies!

Youxue’s protégé mistress was Yixian the Celestial Fairy so naturally she could not attack her unless she had no other choice.

Yunzi other close sister was Lie Qing. Therefore she would never initiate an attack against her.

In this complex relationship, the Ascension Goddess and Shen Xingyue were the most obvious targets to bring down as they were also two of the most powerful exponents!

Except that they had all forgotten one thing. Lingfeng who was keeping quiet was an Ancient Celestial and potentially a powerful exponent!

Everyone had forgotten about her except for the Ascension Goddess!

The Ascension Goddess looked at Lingfeng as she smiled, “I know that you are an Ancient Celestial. Surely as one of the oldest celestial around, you are not weak. Why don’t you tell me your celestial name so that I can know who you are? After all, we are soon going to be close sisters. Am I not right to say so?”

Lingfeng smiled weakly as the attentions of the other maidens had shifted to her!

But now that the Ascension Goddess had brought everyone’s attention to her, she was now in the limelight!

Lingfeng smiled alluringly while ignoring Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man who were pleading for everyone to stop fighting and to withdraw their fighting stances.

Everyone was now looking at Lingfeng and was waiting for her to say something.

Yi Ping raised his voice, “There are no reasons for you to fight. Alas! This is really so meaningless…”

Lingfeng smiled and said sweetly, “That’s right. There is no need to fight. Ping’Er, don’t you worry. They are not for real. None of them dare to make the first move. They are taunting each other.”

The Ascension Goddess hummed coldly, “Who says I dare not?”

Among the maidens, Lingfeng’s intellect was also the most brilliant. She concluded that the maiden that made the first attack would not only be attacked by the other maidens and would also displease Yi Ping. Moreover, there are many martial treasures in this huge chamber and none of the maidens were blind.

The solution was to find them an opportunity to back off without a loss to their dignity.

So she said softly, “Since we are going to be sisters soon, I may as well tell you my celestial name. I am the…Heaveness.”

The Ascension Goddess immediately stumbled and she took a step backward but she quickly recovered her composure.

She took a quick glance at Shen Xingyue who nodded at her.

The Ascension Goddess knew that Shen Xingyue could not lie to her or else it was impossible for her to reach her current level of divinity.

So she could only ask the obvious, “Are you really the Heaveness?”

Lingfeng nodded and said gently, “That’s right. There is only one Heaveness in the Celestial Realm and that’s me.”

Even though the Ascension Goddess was already expecting the answer, she was still astonished. “You are really the Heaveness? One of the seven most powerful celestials in the Celestial Realm?”

She muttered to herself, “No wonder, she isn’t affected by my despairing aura even when she has no divine weapon in her hands.”

Lingfeng the Heaveness nodded and she pointed at the Universal Old Man who was stroking his long beard, “And he is the Universal Old Man.”

The Ascension Goddess was truly startled. Like the Heaveness, The Universal Old Man was also one of the seven most powerful celestials in the Celestial Realm and she was actually in their presence without knowing who they were? She did not believe it when Yi Ping had told her that the Universal Old Man was his protégé master…

The Heaveness was a legendary celestial in the Mortal Realm and was extremely mysterious. No one knew who she was and her celestial clan of origin. Before she had ascended, she had already heard of her but had never seen her.

But after she had ascended, she was startled to discover that the Heaveness was one of the seven most powerful celestials in the Celestial Realm as well. She began to wonder how it was possible for her to be in two realms at the same time!

Millennium years ago during the golden age of the Celestial Realm which was also called the Golden Era, the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation had suddenly appeared.

It was an earthshaking event that had caught everyone by surprise. It was because the Stellar Sanctuary and the mysterious Astronomic Stellar Formation had descended upon the Celestial Realm, igniting a race for its secrets!

This event gave the celestials that were already at the epitome levels the first clue that the Gods’ Realm had indeed existed and all the celestials were determined to be the first one to be able to transmigrate to the new realm.

During the flurry to unravel the mysteries of the two dimensional places, the Celestials fought among themselves. Overnight, entire celestial clans were annihilated and new alliances were formed!

The Stellar Sanctuary was actually a tower that measured hundreds of miles wide and its height reached to the clouds. The walls of the Stellar Sanctuary were indestructible and there was only a single entrance.

According to rumors, there were supposedly a hundred levels in the Stellar Sanctuary and each level was fraught with deadly traps and hidden dangers.

As for the Astronomic Stellar Formation, it was surrounded by deadly mist and whirling vortexes. Only the most courageous dare to venture deep into the Astronomic Stellar Formation. If the Stellar Sanctuary was impossibly large, the Astronomic Stellar Formation that had appeared next to the Stellar Sanctuary was impossible to gauge; it enveloped through hundreds of mountain peaks, extinguishing all life that was within the Astronomic Stellar Formation!

The seven most powerful celestials had not only survived the dangers of the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation, they had also returned with many unknown artefacts and secrets.

Out of the tens of thousands celestials, less than a thousand had survived and none of them dared to venture as deep as the seven most powerful celestials.

The Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation only appeared for a brief period of time; exactly three months!

The Celestial Realm was vast. Each time the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation had appeared, its location seemed to be totally random.

To the celestials, time was really precious. They had to wrestle with lost time traveling across the Celestial Realm to find the exact appearance of the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation; they also had to overcome the intrigues of the celestials from the entire Celestial Realm!

In the entire history of the Celestial Realm, these two mysterious places had only appeared five times!

Since then, all the celestial clans and celestials had devoted considerable efforts to divine the next appearance of these two mysterious places; no one wanted to lose the opportunity to explore the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation!

The vast majority of the celestials of the Celestial Realm had never seen the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation. These two places were so dangerous that each time it had appeared, more and more of the Ancient Celestials perished in the attempt to unravel deeper into the mystery.

Just as Yi Ping was heaving in relief that the tensions between the maidens seemed to have cool off drastically, Yu’Er began to say excitedly. “There! We have it!”

Mei’Er announced breathlessly, “If we are not wrong, then the next appearance of the Stellar Sanctuary is at the Unmoving Mountains!”

The Ascension Goddess was startled as she gave a startled cry, “The Holy Ascension Sect is at the peak of the Unmoving Mountains…”

Lingfeng and the Universal Old Man exchanged glances with each other as they muttered excitedly at the same time, “The Unmoving Mountains!”

When Yi Ping saw their expressions, he had a bad feeling about it as he smiled bitterly, “Don’t tell me we are really going there? I don’t even know what sort of a place is the Stellar Sanctuary…”

Lingfeng laughed softly, “What do you want to know? I will tell you.”

The Universal Old Man clapped his hands as he roared with laughter, “We have always wasted so much time searching and running towards it. I have even missed it once. When I have reached there, I almost got killed by the many hostile celestials in the area. Finally I have three full months of time to explore the Stellar Sanctuary!”

The Ascension Goddess snapped her fingers as she said excitedly, “No, we don’t. We are going to the Astronomic Stellar Formation first!”

The Universal Old Man was unhappy, “I have been there once and I never want to go there again. Trust me, there is nothing of interest there compared to the Stellar Sanctuary. I have almost broken through to the thirty level of the Stellar Sanctuary. Every thirty levels supposedly hide a startling secret…”

Lingfeng quickly stepped him as she shook her head.

The Universal Old Man was flustered as he kept quiet.

But Lele asked, “Old Man, every thirty levels there is a secret? Why did you keep quiet for?”

Shen Xingyue asked, “What are you hiding?”

But the Universal Old Man stubbornly refused to say a word!

Lingfeng looked at the Ascension Goddess before she said quietly, “It is not that we are unwillingly to tell you. We pay for this secret with our lives and the lives of our companions…”

The Universal Old Man was trembling and there was a shred of tear at the corner of his eyes!

Lingfeng continued, “The Holy Ascension Sect is right in the middle of the Unmoving Mountains and they have a big advantage over the rest of the celestial clans. I can’t say if that is a good or bad thing for now. But it seems that we can’t trust anyone from the Holy Ascension Sect. We have been betrayed more than once even by the most honorable of the celestials. There are no one that we can trust so readily now.”

The Ascension Goddess pointed at Shen Xingyue, Yu’E and Mei’Er, “You don’t trust me or you don’t trust everyone from the Holy Ascension Sect? What do I need to do to make you trust me?”

Lingfeng looked coldly at her before she said, “There is a way. Only if you are willing to duo celestial with Yi Ping, then I have no doubt that you are not a spy.”

All the other maidens began to gasp aloud with shock.

The Ascension Goddess was flustered as she replied shyly, “I…I am willing. Why not?”