A Martial Odyssey Book 2: The Celestial Realm – Chapter 41

The Golden Ascension Hall

When they had finally reached the top of the heavens stairs, the grandeur of the Holy Ascension Sect became apparent. Hundreds of gold and white towering buildings and towers dotted the horizons and the ridges.

Hundreds of celestial practitioners were waiting for them on the white platform at the top.

Two old men were standing at the end of the heaven stairs; one with a completely white hair and the other with gray hair. The one with completely white hair was Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and the one with gray hair was Reverend Sword Pilgrim.

Shen Xingyue gasped softly, “So this is the Celestial Holy Ascension Sect. It is the aspirations of all the Ascendants in the lower realm to one day step into the Golden Ascension Hall and have their names recorded in the ascendant annuals that is in there.”

The Ascension Goddess sighed softly and her voice became barely audible, “Unfortunately, trying to remove your name from the ascendant annuals is almost impossible.”

Yu’Er laughed softly, “Things aren’t that bad, am I right?”

Mei’Er said slyly, “Master Yi Ping, do you think you want to be the protégé leader of the Holy Ascension Sect?”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly as he whispered discreetly, “This is not funny. We are here to persuade the Lord Supreme to forgive Ye Yin…”

The Ascension Goddess looked at him gently at the mention of her name, “Ping’Er…”

Yi Ping continued, “…and to see if we can form a temporary alliance together for the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Youxue nodded as she said casually, “They are already so influential. So why should they share the spoils with small fries like us? I say, we have better luck looting their treasure vaults than the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yunzi smiled bitterly. It was because she knew that Youxue was entirely serious about looting the Holy Ascension Sect. She reminded herself to keep a careful watch over her just in case she would get into serious trouble…

Yixian said gently, “So this is the site of the most powerful celestial clan in the Celestial Realm. It is indeed as lofty as the mountains, as tranquil as the white clouds and as translucent as spring water.”

Lele brushed back her long braided hair, laughing jovially. “You know sister. Suddenly, I have a feeling that your presence today will turn the entire place upside down. The most beautiful maiden in the Celestial Realm…”

Yixian laughed gently, “The celestials here are all highly attained celestial practitioners with no mortal affections. You should keep this in mind…”

The Stellar Heaven Fairy was laughing softly, “These highly attained celestial practitioners sure look like wolves.”

Lie Qing was also laughing jovially, “You look sister. These highly attained celestial practitioners are all looking at us now…”

It was the truth. Hundreds of celestial practitioners were looking at the laughing maidens and were completely mesmerized by them!

Many were looking flustered and were just staring blankly at the number of beautiful maidens that had just arrived!

Feng Mantian who was walking in front of their group had suddenly called out aloud, “This is Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim.”

When Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim saw Yi Ping and his group, they were slightly startled. It was not easy for them to be startled given their state of divinity.

When Yi Ping had appeared in their view, he was like a beacon of light that had immediately caught everyone’s attention!

In fact, the Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim had never seen anyone like him before!

What was also startling to them was that the usual cold Ascension Goddess was smiling and looking tenderly at that young man. She was not the only one; almost all the maidens, including the ones in Lady Snowflake’s group were also looking at him with interest!

They had never seen the Ascension Goddess with such an expression!

The entire scene was like an unreal picturesque heavenly scene filled with the jovial laughs of many heavenly maidens except that it was really real!

That was not all. Even though they had sheathed their divine swords, the divine aura of their divine swords could not be masked from the Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim.

The Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim looked at each other with a startled expression. It was because they had never seen so many divine swords at the same time or had heard of any particular group in the Celestial Realm that could possibly be in possession of such a large quantity of divine swords!

They had almost shivered in cold sweat because of that!

The Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage and Reverend Sword Pilgrim were the Supreme Celestials of the Holy Ascension Sect and so naturally, they had their own divine swords.

However, the number of divine swords that they had witnessed today was actually more than the possession of the Holy Ascension Sect in its entire history!

Even Lady Snowflake of the Erudite Sect had a divine sword that was white and encased with precious gems!

All of a sudden, Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage had a startled expression as he pointed at the Universal Old Man and Lingfeng, “The two of you, why are you here…”

The Universal Old Man grumbled, “Why shouldn’t I be here? I am accompanying my protégé to take a tour of the Holy Ascension Sect.”

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage, the Universal Old Man and the Heaveness had once fought bitterly in the Stellar Sanctuary!

Lingfeng looked at Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage quietly but did not say a word.

Instead, her attentions were on Yi Ping.

Given Yi Ping’s state of divinity and his attainment in the Emptiness Translucence, he was able to hide his true emotions from even Yu’Er and Mei’Er. However, given Lingfeng’s attainment in the Great Emptiness Translucence and with the awakening of her heaven eyes, she could sense his uneasiness.

She thought, “What is it, Yi Ping? What is wrong?”

Yi Ping seemed to take the trip to the Unmoving Mountains well and was unafraid. However, she had suddenly sensed a sudden change in his Emptiness Translucence when Lady Snowflake had shown up…

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage muttered, “Very good. You are really bold to come here.”

But his attention quickly turned to the rest of the maidens, “Who is the Dark Enchantress, the Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddess?”

At the mention of the Eclipse and the Axis Heaven Goddess, the atmosphere among the hundreds of Ascendant celestial practitioners turned weirdly solemn. It was because the Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddess had a mysterious pull over many of the Ascendant celestial practitioners, with many of them previously receiving help from them in the past!

Shen Xingyue said angelically, “I am the Dark Enchantress but now I am the Fiery Phoenix.”

Yu’Er said casually, “I am the Eclipse Heaven Goddess.”

Mei’Er nodded quietly, “Yes, I am the Axis Heaven Goddess.”

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage looked at the divine swords that were with them as he muttered, “Very good. Good! Good! Good! The Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddess have finally ascended!”

Yu’Er said casually, “They are my friends. You must not harm them, alright?”

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage nodded as he said aloud, “You have heard the Eclipse Heaven Goddess? Treat our guests with respect!”

Not only was Yi Ping bewildered, many of the Ascendants celestial practitioners were also bewildered!

Feng Mantian muttered, “But shouldn’t we detain the Ascension Goddess first?”

Reverend Sword Pilgrim interrupted coldly, “Until the Lord Supreme says otherwise, she is still the Supreme Celestial of the Holy Ascension Sect.”

Feng Mantian quickly said, “Yes, yes.”

Yi Ping turned to ask Yu’Er in bewilderment, “Yu’Er, you have said that you have a plan when we have reached the Unmoving Mountains. This…this is your plan?”

Yu’Er winked at him, “That is right.”

Yi Ping was startled, “This…what kind of a plan is this…”

Lady Snowflake gave a sly smile as she asked Yu’Er, “Good sister. We are your friends too, am I right?”

Yu’Er gave an equally sly smile, “What do you think?”

Lady Snowflake smiled, “Of course we are your friends or else I would not have tried to render my help to your group earlier, am I right?”

Mei’Er said quietly, “I don’t know your true purposes in coming here but I know you are not a bad person. You can join us inside but you won’t have an easy time inside. It is wiser for you to leave.”

Lady Snowflake smiled, “Good sister, you are so kind. Don’t worry about me. I will be careful. After all…”

She looked at Yi Ping alluringly, “Someone here will take care of me, am I right?”

Yi Ping was immediately flustered but he quickly replied solemnly, “We may have already made several powerful enemies with some of the celestial clans inside and will only bring trouble to you.”

Lady Snowflake smiled, “For example, like the Celestial Infinity Sword Clan?”

Yi Ping looked at her and nodded quietly.

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage said solemnly, “Come with me to the Golden Ascension Hall. However…”

He stared coldly at Lady Snowflake, “However, only true celestials are allowed inside the Golden Ascension Hall. There are no exceptions. The rest of you must wait at the Purple Mist Ancestral Hall.”

Lady Snowflake sighed softly as she looked at her protégés who were all wearing straw hats and were veiled except for their eyes, “All the elder protégés follow me. The rest of you await my orders in the Purple Mist Ancestral Hall.”

“Yes Mistress!” All her protégés raised their hands at the same time as they answered their protégé mistress.

Immediately, six of her protégés who were all golden eyes celestials stepped forward at the same time!

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage said, “Wu Han, escort them to the Purple Mist Ancestral Hall first.”

Wu Han said to the protégés of the Erudite Sect, “Maidens, please follow me!”

One of the maidens replied, “Please lead the way.”

Wu Han nodded and he immediately marched to a different direction as he said to the dozens of Ascendant protégés who were blocking his way, “May protégé brothers give way to us.”

Dozens of Ascendants began to move aside as they secretly ogled at the celestial maidens who walked quietly past them.

Meanwhile, Yi Ping was looking keenly at one of maidens with the golden eyes. He could not see her face for her straw hat had covered her forehead and her veil had covered her face.

Just as he was about to say something, Lingfeng gave him a kick. “What are you thinking?”

Yi Ping muttered panicky, “Erm, nothing…”

Lingfeng asked softly, “Really nothing?”

Yi Ping whispered, “I think there is a familiar feeling with that maiden over there. Her eyes…”

Lingfeng hummed coldly, “You are really courting your own death! You can’t even see their faces and yet you are attracted to one of them.”

Yi Ping began to fluster, “Not that…”

Lele had overheard as well as she hummed coldly, “Who is she? I will gorge her eyes out.”

Yi Ping panicky said, “You got it all wrong…”

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage interrupted solemnly, “Follow my lead into the Golden Ascension Hall…”

Lady Snowflake winked at Yi Ping as she whispered softly, “Let go in. Why is that you don’t seem to be interested in me but you seem to be looking at one of my protégés?”

Yi Ping could only smile bitterly and he was so embarrassed that he dared not look at the familiar maiden anymore.

It was because he had also noticed that Lele and Lingfeng were looking at him with displeasure!

Lady Snowflake discreetly looked at her protégés.

The maiden that had caught Yi Ping’s attention earlier nodded quietly to her…

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage led them across the vast platform and through the towering gates of the Golden Ascension Hall.

It was not before long that they had all stepped into the Golden Ascension Hall.

Only Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage, Reverend Sword Pilgrim, Luo Wei, Feng Mantian and a dozen of the Ascendant celestials walked into the Golden Ascension Hall.

Once inside the Golden Ascension Hall, Yi Ping was immediately overwhelmed by what in the interior of the beautiful golden hall. He was not the only one. Except for the Ascension Goddess, even Yu’Er and Mei’Er were startled!

It was because meditating on the three rows of platforms in the Golden Ascension Hall were more than a thousand highly attained celestials from more than a hundred celestial clans!

The sum of their combined presence was so overwhelming that Yi Ping felt as though he was just an insignificant person in a vast ocean…

Yi Ping had quickly looked around and had recognized the Northern Tyrant and the Deadly Wanderer from among the golden celestials.

The Deadly Wanderer was startled to see Yi Ping and his group again as he rose from his seat hurriedly, muttering. “They are all golden celestials now? How is it possible?”

He was actually thinking day and night when he could chance upon these maidens again so much that it had actually affected his celestial practice!

At the same time, the meditating celestial practitioners were all opening their eyes one by one!

It was because Yi Ping’s righteous air was equally disturbing to them and that the divine auras of their divine swords were like beacons of light to these highly attained celestials!

Moreover, these maidens that had just walked in were just too stunning and enchanting that the air seemed suddenly suffocating!

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage said aloud, “This hall is divided into two major sections, the gold and silver section. Only celestial clans that come with more than twelve true celestials are entitled to sit in the golden section.”

He looked at Yi Ping and pointed to an empty platform further in front, “Your clan will be seated in the golden section over there.”

As Yi Ping looked in the direction that he was pointing, he noticed that there were a dozen celestial banners on both sides of the golden section.

All of a sudden, Yi Ping and his group shifted uncomfortably!

It was because they had suddenly noticed that their seating arrangement were just the opposite of the Celestial Infinity Sword Clan! The Immortal Saint of Swords, the Immortal Sword Zealot Sage and the Immortal Sword Blitz Sage were all staring coldly at them!

Dozens of powerful celestials from the golden section had already stood up and was smiling coldly!

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage turned towards Lady Snowflake, “Your clan will be seated in the silver section.” It was a command and not a request!

Lady Snowflake smiled bitterly and as she reluctantly moved towards the silver section. All of a sudden, one of her protégés walked quietly to her and whispered softly to her.

Suddenly, Lady Snowflake smiled as she said aloud, “What if I refuse and insist on having a seating arrangement at the golden section.”

Immediately, hundreds of highly attained celestials from numerous celestial clans burst into uproar, startled by her insolent proclamation!

No one was able to break the celestial rule of the Holy Ascension Sect. No one dare!

For a minor celestial clan like the Erudite Sect to proclaim such an outrageous request was like courting their own destruction, especially when it was just a dark celestial clan that all the major orthodox celestial clans would not hesitate to destroy at a moment notice!

The fighting spirits of these golden celestials were suddenly stirred!

It was because it was a chance for them to impress the heavenly maidens that were here with their martial skills and to demonstrate their clan prowess in front of the other celestial clans!

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage laughed and his voice reverberated throughout the Golden Ascension Hall, “Because you have proclaimed it in my presence, then I am afraid that you have to accept the challenges of all the celestials in this hall in order to be allowed into the golden section, especially from the celestials in the golden section!”

Yi Ping had immediately turned to Lady Snowflake, “Lady, this is not worth throwing your life away. It is not too late or disgraceful at all to retract…

He was immediately distracted by a dozen celestial practitioners from the golden and silver section of the hall as they leapt from their platform while shouting, “Impudent!”

Lady Snowflake appeared disturbed but she quickly regained her composure.

She handed her white sword to the protégé besides her, “Ziyan, you will take my place and take care of these insignificant challengers.”

Immediately, she provoked even more challengers by her bold statements!

Ziyan took the white sword quietly and nodded.

Everyone began to take an interest at this maiden. It was because this maiden seemed to be taking her orders calmly. At the same time, she made no attempt to remove her straw hair and veil. This in turn caused many curious stares!

Lady Snowflake said coolly, “My protégé Ziyan is a mute. So she won’t be able to say anything. But those that want to fight me will have to fight my protégé first!”

She smiled as she looked at the hundreds of golden celestials around her, “That of course is my rule to prove if you are capable first before you can duel with me.”

That immediately provoked angry mutterings from many of the celestials that were on the platform!

Another twenty hostile celestials had immediately leaped from the platform!

Yi Ping had also taken a step forward when Lingfeng cautioned him, “Let us observe first…”

Yi Ping muttered, “There are so many of them and this Maiden Ziyan is just one. These golden celestials are completely different from what we have fought previously…”

But before he was completely done with voicing his concerns, this Maiden Ziyan had moved into the midst of her challengers!

Before the challengers could even compose themselves, five golden celestials were crawling on the ground in pain as she struck them down with the still unsheathed sword!

It had happened too quickly, taking many by surprise!

Yi Ping was startled by her speed!

Lingfeng, Shen Xingyue, Lele, the Universal Old Man, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Lie Qing, Youxue, Yunzi, the Ascension Goddess, the Stellar Heaven Fairy and Yixian had all secretly turned ashen!

A celestial shouted aloud, “I am Vengeful God Shuntian…” He had leapt forward with a thunderous martial force that caused a tremendous windforce that rippled throughout the surroundings!

Immediately several dozen celestials that were sitting by the side of the platform shouted excitedly, “That is the Flammable Marvelous Fist! It is indeed an eye opening today! This is a technique can even grind rocks to powder!”

There was a thunderous impact as Maiden Ziyan raised her fingers forward to receive the incoming attack!

To the startled astonishment of everyone and to the relief of Yi Ping, barely had the Vengeful God Shuntian proudly declared his presence he had coughed out a bout of blood and was sent flying backward with a large impact against the wall!

More than thirty celestials that had just stepped forward to teach her a lesson had all frozen in their tracks as they began to appraise her anew.

These celestials had thought that she was just an average golden celestial and had wanted to brush her aside as quickly as possible so they could teach Lady Snowflake a lesson for forgetting her place ‘in the order of things’.

However they were still confident that they would be able to overcome her since there were simply too many of them!

However, it was not an entirely honorable thing to do if they employed wolf pack tactics to do so!

All of a sudden, there was a cold hum that grabbed everyone’s attention, followed by three other celestials each with two swords on their back.

A sagely old man with three swords on his back had walked towards Maiden Ziyan and saying coldly, “Maiden Ziyan? I have never heard that there is such a highly skilled mute celestial in the Celestial Realm.”

Yi Ping was startled and so was everyone. It was because it was the Immortal Sword Zealot Sage of the Celestial Infinity Sword Clan with his all too familiar cold terrifying killing malevolent air!

Also, judging from the sword auras of the three celestials with two swords on their back, there were no doubt that they were all super exponents of the Infinity Sword Techniques!

The Immortal Sword Zealot Sage had naturally recognized Yi Ping, Shen Xingyue, Yunzi and Yixian. He was startled that Yi Ping and some of his group were now true celestials as he thought, “They are true celestials now? How can it be? How is it possible for these lowly celestial practitioners to attain past the various states of celestial divinities in just six months? This is impossible! Can it be…can it be that they have discovered the secrets that are within the Celestial Alice?”

Lady Snowflake muttered, “His sword energies aura…such terrifying pressuring presence…”

Shen Xingyue had immediately grasped her divine sword at the same time as Lie Qing. They were smiling secretly to each other and thinking of the same thing; they wanted to be the first to challenge the Immortal Sword Zealot Sage and hoped to observe Yi Ping’s panicky expressions for them!

They were simply jealous and envy of the attentions that Yi Ping had showered on Yunzi, Yixian and the Ascension Goddess a few months ago!

They were playing a dangerous game. It was because the Immortal Sword Zealot Sage was an opponent that was above them in martial skill and techniques!

The Immortal Sword Zealot Sage added coldly, “You are using a fake name?”

Lady Snowflake laughed coldly, “You really know how to joke. There are thousands of celestials and countless number of Autonomous Celestials in the Celestial Realm. My protégé is just an insignificant celestial among my countless protégés…”

The Immortal Sword Zealot said icily as he raised his long sword from his back and displayed the Ley Negative Sword Energies towards Lady Snowflake. “Insolent!”

Immediately, several bursts of sword energies flew towards Lady Snowflake, startling her!

Yi Ping who was wary of the Immortal Sword Zealot Sage had immediately drawn out the Celestial Alice while Lie Qing and Shen Xingyue were not slow either to either to jump to the defense of Lady Snowflake.

They had thought they were fast enough and faster than anyone else but this Maiden Ziyan was even faster than them as she actually flew into the midst of the deadly sword bursts, deflecting and dissipating the deadly sword energies from Lady Snowflake!

All the celestials were stunned! It was because they had never seen anyone who could be so reckless enough to charge into a volley of sword energies!

Now this was totally different from deflecting and dissipating sword energies from a position. This feat was much, much more difficult and almost an impossible feat to most celestials!

However, Maiden Ziyan did not actually escape unscathed. At least her straw hat had received damage, revealing her forehead and loosening her long silken hair!

Yi Ping was stunned!

But yet at the same time, he had finally confirmed his suspicious!

While he was still not able to see her face, he could now see her familiar golden eyes and the all too familiar three tiny pink petals markings that were engraved on her forehead!

YI Ping, the Universal Old Man and his consorts had immediately thought of the forbidding heavenly maiden that they had last seen in the Astronomic Stellar Formation!

Yi Ping had stepped forward nervously as he murmured, “Is that really you? I know it is really you. You are safe and sound?”

Maiden Ziyan lowered her head…