A Martial Odyssey Book 2: The Celestial Realm – Chapter 35

The Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos?

But before Lingfeng had finished her warnings, Yi Ping had already given a great tremendous shout as he mustered his entire martial power; there were three circular rings of martial force from the ground that burst around Yi Ping as he displayed the Asper Divinity!

The Universal Old Man was shouting, “Yi Ping wait! That is a Kirin…”

There was a brazing trail of dust when Yi Ping had sped towards the Kirin, leaping upon it when he was near as he hacked with the Celestial Alice!

In that singular instant, time seemed to freeze in a drag when the Celestial Alice struck with a tremendous jarring blow as fiery sparks ignited across the body of the monstrous Kirin!

The Kirin gave a bellowing roar that shook the heavens and the earth, reacting with an instantaneous reflex as it raised its claw to slam Yi Ping onto the ground with a thunderous shocking impact as everyone looked in stunned horror at the gory splash of blood!

Except for a few broken scales, the Kirin was not in the least injured!

The Kirin was about to leap forward to the rest of the onlookers when a bloodied Yi Ping had got up again as he gave the Kirin a double slash with the Celestial Antonym Alice and Celestial Synonym Alice, muttering defiantly “You are not going to hurt anyone…”

However, even though this first double impact was even more powerful than Yi Ping’s initial hit, it did not even scratch the Kirin or moved it a bit!

The Kirin instinctively slammed its claw onto Yi Ping with a mighty thunderous force but this time the unbelievable thing had happened; Yi Ping had raised his double swords, exercising his entire martial power as he blocked the attack!

The force of the impact was so tremendous that Yi Ping was left foaming with blood but he continued to persist with the will of his Absolute Spirits!

Yi Ping had actually stopped the attack of the Kirin, much to the astonishment of the Universal Old Man and the Heaveness!

But before the Kirin could make another attack on Yi Ping, the Heaveness Lingfeng had struck the Kirin at the side of its face with an explosive blow of her Divine Invigorate Force in an attempt to distract it!

But Lingfeng was immediately sent flying backward by the rebound force and the scorching body heat of the Kirin!

At the same time, the Universal Old Man was also flung off aside when he had struck the Kirin with his Ultrapowerful Force!

Almost instantaneously, everyone was hacking and striking the furious Kirin in all directions!

Yi Ping was startled that at this critical moment, everyone had joined in the fight, “Everyone…run!”

He would rather let himself be the decoy then let Lingfeng take his place! She had really done too much for him and he refused to let her do more!

The Ascension Goddess laughed softly as she swung her Despairing Heavenly Divine Sword at the Kirin while evading the Kirin’s attacks at the same time, “We are all in this together. You didn’t think that we will let you fight alone?”

All of a sudden, the Kirin had bellowed thunderously as it stumbled to the side slightly when Xiao Youxue had struck the Kirin with a thunderous explosive force, stunning everyone with her astonishing martial force!

The Stellar Heaven Fairy gasped, “The Dominating Force! When did she learnt that?!”

The Celestial Fairy had barely evaded the maddening attacks of the Kirin as she deflected a heavy blow from the Kirin with her Heavenly Earth Sword. It was Youxue’s heavy concussion force that had saved her from taking the full blunt of the Kirin’s attacks!

Yixian was astonished as she thought silently, “Youxue can hit the Kirin with her bare hands without any ill-effects?!”

But before Youxue could make another move, she had screamed aloud as the Kirin had knocked her aside with a mighty hit in the next instant, sending her flying into the mists!

Yi Ping gasped aloud, “Youxue!”

Yi Ping was moved to anger as he raised the Celestial Antonym Alice and Celestial Synonym Alice in a furious flurry of strokes as he swung his two divine swords from left to right continuously, hitting the Kirin with thunderous impacts with every hit!

The Kirin responded by smashing at Yi Ping multiple times with its claws but Yi Ping reacted intuitively by slashing furiously at its claw and body with the Celestial Antonym Alice and Celestial Synonym Alice!

In a blink of an eye, Yi Ping and the Kirin had exchanged dozens of lethal attacks that caused the surroundings to be enveloped with burning windforce and explosive shockwaves!

Yi Ping had left hand swung the lighter Celestial Antonym Alice with the Asper Horizon and right hand swung the heavier Celestial Synonym Alice with the Ultrapowerful Force, displaying both martial force techniques in quick exchanging succession!

Everyone was startled at Yi Ping’s dazzling sword art!

Lele, Yunzi and the Stellar Heaven Fairy were in awe as they thought, “That is our Yi Ping?”

Even the Heaveness was gasping silently, “Is that really the Yi Ping that I know?”

The Ascension Goddess gasped secretly to herself, “Ping’Er is so badly injured and yet he still has that much strength? Is he immortal? I have never seen anyone that fight like this or disregard his self…”

Shen Xingyue and Lie Qing both gasping with astonishment, “This…! Ping’Er can tank the attacks of the Kirin while attacking at the same time?!”

The Celestial Fairy Yixian was gasping silently, “The Perfect Swordplay! Why is it so vaguely familiar to the sword stances that Yichi had shown me…”

Yichi had once displayed a strange swordplay as she teased her with it, “My little protégé sister, come and look at this swordplay that I have just created. I am thinking that I can further refine this swordplay with my finger stances, combining attack, defense, power and speed together. Then won’t this be wonderful?”

Yixian had laughed, “There is no such thing and no such swordplay in this world or else it would be the Perfect Swordplay!”

Yichi laughed softly, “My little protégé sister, then I shall name it as the Perfect Swordplay! In practice, this may still be difficult to realize but in theory, it is still possible!”

Yixian shook her head with a gentle smile, “You are the Emerald Mistress of the Eternal Ice Palace. Whatever you say, I cannot disagree even though everything adds up together is like a delicious cabbage to me!”

Yichi pretended to be upset as she commanded sternly, “Then tonight, you shall only eat cabbages!”

Later before Yichi had breathed her last, she had displayed the Perfect Swordplay in the form of several finger stances to her little Yi Ping…

And now, Yixian was watching the sword stances of the Perfect Swordplay that were being enacted in front of her!

The truth was that Yi Ping was already faltering! He had combined the Absolute Spirits with his attack, defense, power and speed, evolving his assaults into the Absolute Attack, Absolute Defense, Absolute Might and Absolute Speed at the same time!

It was because both the Asper Horizon and the Ultrapowerful Force were powerful martial force attacks and were extremely draining! But Yi Ping had executed more than twenty Asper Horizons and twenty Ultrapowerful Forces in just a few blinks of an eye without respite!

Yi Ping was already at his limit as he coughed out blood. His eyes were bloodshot as he raised the Celestial Alice again and again as he withstood one hammering blow after another while slashing furiously at the body of the Kirin!

All the maidens were startled as they increased their attacks on the Kirin hoping to distract it as they pleaded aloud, “Yi Ping…Ping’Er…please run…”

It was because at the rate that Yi Ping was using his martial power, it was as good as killing himself!

The Kirin was bellowing aloud in fury!

It was experiencing pain for the first time!

After Yi Ping had continuously hit it on the same spot with dozens of powerful strikes, the Universal Force that was contained within the Celestial Antonym Alice and Celestial Synonym Alice caused the Kirin such agonizing pain that it broke through its impervious scales!

All of a sudden, Yi Ping yelled aloud as the blood of the Golden Kirin splash on him, searing him with agonizing pain! But he ignored the agonizing pain as he gave another yell by leaping forward, slashing the Kirin and defending with the Celestial Alice against the sharp talons of the Kirin!

Yi Ping’s arms were numbed from the nonstop slashing but somehow he continued to persist in his attacks. He could feel the air getting hotter and hotter. He knew that his martial force was nearly spent and he was experiencing the scorching heat of the Kirin as he thought weakly, “Is that the end of me?”

The rest of the group was not idle either as they made furious attacks at the Kirin hoping to distract the Kirin from him; they could see how utterly exhausted Yi Ping was and how every moment was crucial but they could not get past the Kirin to rescue or aid him…

Yunzi had struck the Kirin on its head with her Flying Sword Technique using the White Phoenix Sword while Lie Qing had unleashed her Pandora Merciless Strike but their attacks simply bounced off the Kirin as though they were throwing sticks on it!

Only Yi Ping’s attacks had an effect on it and it was causing the enraging strength of the Kirin to be doubled as it retaliated against him!

Yi Ping could feel all his strength giving way. This was the first time that he had felt so hopeless and useless. Against a divine beast such as the Kirin, he had totally no hope of triumphing!

All of a sudden, there was a piercing whistling that resonated throughout the vicinity!

This caused the Kirin to stand still completely!

Even when the Ascension Goddess, Shen Xingyue, the Universal Old Man, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Lie Qing and Yunzi were all still attacking and hitting the Kirin, it did not move or retaliate at all!

This gave Lingfeng the opportunity to snatch Yi Ping from the claws of the Kirin and to rescue him, “Ping’Er, are you alright?”

Yi Ping upper body had completely gone stiff and numbed. He could only muttered, “Lingfeng…run please…I…this divine beast is simply too strong. Why don’t you run…”

Lingfeng smiled weakly, “If you are gone, is there a purpose for my existence?”

All of a sudden, the Kirin gave a thunderous roar that shook the ground thunderously. To the astonishment of everyone, the Kirin had suddenly retreated into the thick mists!

Everyone began to crowd around Yi Ping as they all dropped to the ground, exhausted from the fighting!

Shen Xingyue quickly examined Yi Ping’s pulse as she broke into cold sweat, “Ping’Er, you must not use your martial strength again or else your life will be at risk. Is that understood? That is too reckless of you earlier…”

Lingfeng nodded quietly, “That’s right…”

Lele was murmuring, “Ping’Er, don’t you leave before me!”

Lie Qing had cuddled herself next to Yi Ping as she breathed hard, “Ping’Er, I am so glad that you are alright. I was so worried for you earlier…”

But Yi Ping was muttering, “Youxue…where is she? Is she alright?”

Youxue laid her hands on him as she said weakly but at the same time she was extremely touched that Yi Ping did not forget her, “I am alright…my Golden Impervious Body manages to tank the hit for me. I…had lost conscious briefly but Lele had revived me…”

Yi Ping muttered, “Are we all still here…”

Lie Qing laughed softly but she was actually in tears, “Yes, we are all still here. Only you have the worst injuries. Worry about yourself first!”

Yixian muttered, “Why did the Kirin suddenly retreats? In just a few moments more, it would have massacred us all…”

Everyone was quiet. It was true.

Even though the battle with the Kirin was extremely brief, the fight had totally sapped their strength and aggravated their injuries.

Lele smiled weakly as she tried to cheer everyone up, “At least we are all still alive. If we are still alive, we can surely escape from the Astronomic Stellar Formation. So what does it really matter if we know what the Kirin is thinking about? Well, this formation doesn’t seem too difficult to escape, right?”

Everyone was quiet. They could not even battle past a single Kirin and moreover, there were still many more of these Kirins that were in this formation!

The Heaveness muttered, “There is a whistle earlier…”

The Stellar Heaven Fairy added, “And the Kirin retreats after hearing it…”

Lele raised her Divine Echo towards the direction of the whistle, “Whatever it is. It is causing the Kirin to be fearful of it. We should go in that direction, am I right to say so?”

Yunzi said solemnly, “That may not be the right decision to make. Maybe the Kirin has a master and it could be a mistake to go in that direction.”

Shen Xingyue said quietly, “Ping’Er, what do you think?”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “If we go in any other directions, the outcome may not be easier. If we have to face the Kirins and the unknown, maybe we should gamble on the unknown?”

The Ascension Goddess nodded uneasily, “Maybe yes, maybe no. But we better hurry. There are two more Kirins heading in our direction now…”

Everyone turned ashen. They had almost forgotten about it…

The Universal Old Man sighed softly, “I guess that we have no other choice. Let us head towards the direction of the whistle.”

He had barely taken a step forward when he noticed that none of the maidens were following him. He immediately turned around to take a look and saw that all the maidens were crowding around Yi Ping as they all wanted to be the ones to support Yi Ping!

The Universal Old Man groaned softly, “I am the odd one out?”

Even though his mutterings were soft and the earthquakes were constantly rumbling, it was still audible to these martial experts. But somehow, they had all chosen to ignore the Universal Old Man!

The Universal Old Man muttered, “It is always good to have strong members in the party. There is nothing scarier than having stupid pigs in the party…”

But this time, the maidens were all looking coldly at him.

Lingfeng asked coldly, “Who are you referring to as pigs?”

But the Universal Old Man had already walked away rapidly as he murmured, “That…that is just a metaphor…”

Lele scoffed coldly, “It is lucky thing that he has run away or else…”

Mei’Er laughed softly, “That is right! Or else he is dead. He dares to call us stupid pigs!”

Yunzi said softly, “I am thinking that the Universal Old Man did not want to disturb us…”

Yu’Er nodded, “He has a kind heart…”

Yi Ping sighed softly as he looked lingering at the maidens while muttering, “Yixian, Lele, Lie Qing, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Yunzi, Ye Yin, Youxue, Xingyue, Shi Shi, Lingfeng…”

He looked at them quietly while he coughed weakly.

Time passed and they lost track of the time. In that single instant, they all had eyes for each other. They did not know if they could survive the next battle and did not care. They decided to cherish this moment of peace instead!

All of a sudden, the Universal Old Man reappeared from the mists; he was flustered but he was also waving excitedly, “Come over here! I saw something!”

Lingfeng asked, “Why are you back so fast? What did you see?”

The Universal Old Man was suddenly solemn, “You will soon know! Quick, follow me!”

The group immediately followed the Universal Old Man and they were all wondering what would possible caused the Universal Old Man to be so excited.

Lingfeng was curious too. She had rarely seen the Universal Old Man this excited for a long time.

In a little while, they noticed that the mists were not as thick here and visibility had actually improved!

Lingfeng was startled, “The mists are actually dispersing here?”

The Universal Old Man nodded excitedly, “If I am not wrong, then this must the center of the Astronomic Stellar Formation! After so many years, we have finally found the center of the vast Astronomic Stellar Formation! There is something more and we are reaching soon!”

Then they saw a sight that astonished and stunned them at the same time!

In front of them was a white monument palace that was made entirely of celestium. It was impossible towering. No one could tell how vast this monument palace was, for the perimeters of this towering white palace was enveloped by the thick mists!

The white monument palace was situated on a higher peak and there were thousands of celestium steps leading to it!

The flight of white celestium stairs was equally grand, measuring twenty feet long and two feet in height!

The Stellar Heaven Fairy was stunned as she muttered, “Who can possibly build this?”

Lingfeng replied, “Maybe no one. This palace only exists within the Astronomic Stellar Formation itself. My guess is that this palace that we can see here is but an optical illusion. It may feel real but is actually immaterial. Only the inside is what we may be seeking for and is real.”

Yi Ping muttered, “That…is a little too hard to understand…”

The Ascension Goddess was thinking, “My protégé master had told me before that the Astronomic Stellar Formation is the key to unravel the secrets of the Stellar Sanctuary. Is this the place?”

She quickly stepped on the white celestium step and kicking it while asking. “This palace is really an illusion? Even the steps feel real…”

Lingfeng explained patiently, “This is the first time that we have found anything like this in the Astronomic Stellar Formation but these types of structures are commonplace in the Stellar Sanctuary. I have my reasons to suspect that this is just an immaterial illusion. It was because whenever the Stellar Sanctuary had descended, everything in it seemed to be restored to its original pristine state. I find it unbelievable that someone would actually bother to go through such lengths to repair the damage done by the celestial practitioners as they stormed the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Youxue sighed softly at the number of steps, “I wonder how many steps there are. By the time we have climbed on top, we will be half-dead…”

Yu’Er smiled, “Ten thousand steps to be exact. No more, no less!”

Everyone except Mei’Er was startled.

Yi Ping asked, “Yu’Er, you can count the number of steps?”

Yu’Er laughed softly, “Yes, of course.”

Mei’Er added gently, “It is just a small feat.”

Yixian gave a gentle smile as she blinked her eyes at them, “What a transformation. Yu’Er and Mei’Er have become so impressive.”

Mei’Er replied shyly, “Protégé Mistress, you are…teasing us!”

Yixian rebuked them gently, “Don’t call me protégé mistress anymore. I am not. We are close sisters now, alright?”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er both nodded shyly as they stole a glance at Yi Ping…

The Universal Old Man said grimly as he sighed softly, “But no matter, we have finally found the center of the Astronomic Stellar Formation. I wonder what secrets it can possible hold. I think other than us; no other celestials have actually come this close to unraveling the Astronomic Stellar Formation…”

“Indeed!” A voice had resonated!

All of a sudden, everyone had turned ashen!

It was because someone had actually approached them without anyone of them knowing!

They quickly looked up and saw an absolute stunning heavenly maiden at the top of the mountain steps!

Even though she was standing quite a distance away, they could still see her delicate features clearly for they were all martial experts. She had three tiny pink petals that were engraved on her forehead. Her eyes were golden but either the Universal Old Man or the Heaveness could tell from her state of divinity if she was an Ancient Celestial or a Golden Celestial. She seemed extremely forbidding and cold.

The Universal Old Man was looking at her as though he wanted to devour her. It was because she was dressed thinly in white and in a short revealing skirt. But she was also wearing a black translucent outer garment with strange circular insignia on it.

When the Ascension Goddess and the Heaveness saw the circular insignia, they gasped at the same time, “The celestium silk!”

The Universal Old Man took the initiative to ask her as he resonated towards her with the Thousand Mile Skill, “Maiden, who are you?”

The forbidding heavenly maiden did not reply but looked at everyone disquietly. She seemed particular interested in Yi Ping, looking at him more than a few times!

Finally, she said casually. “I am really curious…”

She seemed to look at Yi Ping, “…who the new master of the awakened Celestial Alice may be that can wake me from my eternal sleep. I have placed a seal on the Celestial Alice. Only a most righteous and selfless person can awaken the Celestial Alice and divine harmonize with her.”

She seemed to mutter as she trembled lightly, “This is really such a person in the three known realms?”

All of a sudden she had recovered her composure as she said sternly. “This is the center of the Astronomic Stellar Formation. It is also where the intricate heart formula of the immortal practice can be found.”

Everyone was stunned as they gasped aloud, especially the Universal Old Man and the Heaveness! It was because they had been searching for this secret for a long time!

They had always thought that this secret would be at the Stellar Sanctuary and not at the Astronomic Stellar Formation!

Lingfeng displayed her Thousand Mile Skill as she asked respectfully, “I don’t believe it will be this easy. Just who are you? Are you the one who was whistling earlier?”

The forbidding heavenly maiden replied coldly, “Just who I am? I have many incarnations and names. Perhaps, if you have been to the Stellar Sanctuary, you will know me as the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos.”

The Universal Old Man almost fainted on the spot as he gasped exasperating, “The Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos is you!? That is impossible! The Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos has already transmigrated to the Gods’ Realm now!”

Even Lingfeng found it impossible to believe her!

The forbidding heavenly maiden replied coldly, “I will count to a hundred. By the time I have counted to a hundred and you have not reached the top of the stairs, I will kill all of you. For those that are able to reach the top, I will grant you the honor of entering my true sanctuary and have a peek at the intricate heart formula of the immortal practice that is inscribed within the walls.”

Everyone was stunned!

Yi Ping smiled bitterly. It was because he had really no strength left and had to be supported by all the maidens!

Ten thousands steps! How was it possible to reach the top at the count of a hundred? Even if they were not injured, most of them would still not be able to make it to the top…

Youxue muttered coldly, “Why should we believe her…”

The forbidding heavenly maiden counted aloud, “One…Two…”

As she began her counting, two monstrous Golden Kirins had appeared from behind her, shocking and startling everyone!

The Universal Old Man immediately stammered, “Golden Kirins! The most powerful of all the Kirins! How is it possible that these cold-blooded Kirins will be standing next to her and not attack her? Can it be…that she is really an Immortal Being?!”

The Ascension Goddess, Yi Ping and everyone were all stunned at the sight of the Golden Kirins. It was because only then did they sense the killing malevolent of the Golden Kirins!

The Golden Kirins had been invisible and had masked their presence yet none of them were able to sense anything out of the norm!

The forbidding heavenly maiden counted, “…Three…”

The Stellar Heaven Fairy was already trembling at the sight of the Golden Kirins as she muttered, “There…are…Kirins on top…do we really have to go up…?”

Almost all the maidens except for Lele and Lingfeng had all turned to jelly when they saw the Golden Kirins!

The forbidding heavenly maiden counted, “…Four…Five…Six…”

Lele panicky rallied everyone, “Why are we hesitating? If we stay down here, we will surely die. But if we try to reach to the top, we may have a hope!”

Yi Ping nodded as he shouted panicky to everyone, “Go! What are you all waiting for?! Don’t wait for me!”