The Great Arcanum
Yi Ping said gently to the Goddess Isa, “I am Yi Ping. I am not the one that you have known…”
But the Goddess Isa tapped her fingers gently on his lips before whispering firmly, “I know it is you. Your mark is the mark as before. Your expressive eyes are the same as before. The first time that I have looked upon you, I already have the familiar feeling that it is you…and it is you…”
She paused for a while before whispering softly and her eyes were lit with delight, “You are just a badass. You still such a bad liar, ain’t you?”
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “What do you mean?”
The Goddess Isa smiled shyly, “Silly! Are you still pretending to be such a fool? If you are not the Dark Chaos Lord, you won’t be able to unseal my Heaven Eyes!”
At this moment Yixian, Youxue, Lele, Lie Qing, Shi Shi, Jing’Er, Yang Min, the Celeste Wind Maiden, the Goddess Aiel and Han Lin had quietly gathered around Yi Ping and the Goddess Isa.
They were not deaf and could hear their whispered conversations!
They were bruised and were hit hard but their eyes were spirited!
The fight with the White Tiger Divine Beast may have only lasted briefly but they had all almost lost their lives!
Yi Ping’s intervention could only be said to be extremely timely!
Lele was the first one to break the silence in their group as she interrupted them with a soft smile, “Ping’Er, you have opened your Heaven Eyes? Just like me! How wonderful!”
She was not blinded and like the other maidens, she had noticed that Yi Ping’s divine state seemed different now. In fact, he looked differently from earlier!
But that was Lele. No powers above seemed to restraint her natural aptitude to approach people!
Moreover that was Yi Ping, her husband!
So why should she fear him even if he seemed differently now?
Yi Ping smiled at Lele, “Yes, it does appear to be so.”
Lele laughed softly, “Can I touch your head?”
Yi Ping smiled gently to her, “Why not?”
Lele laughed softly as she caressed his forehead gently, “Beautiful!”
Yi Ping asked, “Lele, are you well? How are your injuries?”
Lele sighed softly as she looked at the Goddess Isa who was still in Yi Ping’s embrace, “My injuries are inconsequential. However you are holding a stranger now. I am not so glad about it.”
Yi Ping was suddenly flushing while the Goddess Isa gasped shyly as she took a step backward and pretended to arrange her dress!
Youxue was looking at Yi Ping with her mesmerizing eyes as she said softly, “Brother Ping, are you alright?”
Yi Ping smiled gently to her, “Xue’Er, I am alright. Are you alright too?”
Youxue smiled mesmerizing, “Don’t you worry. Am I not standing well and good in front of you now?”
She stole a glance at Yixian and Lie Qing before she said shyly, “You forget that I am protected by the Divine Emerald Skill, the Golden Impervious Body, the Icy Heavenly Tears and the Divine Virtuous Force.”
She laughed softly, “I am more worried about you!”
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he looked fondly at her.
She was actually the first maiden that he had met when he had first wandered the martial fraternity. At that time she had astonished him with her startling martial power and still today, it was still equally startling!
He had always suspected that her true martial strength exceeded even his protégé master the Universal Old Man!
It was because he had heard from the other maidens that Youxue had singlehandedly defeated Ximen Nanqing and his Dominating Aura Skill!
And she had even mastered Ximen Nanqing’s Dominating Force!
Because that she had successfully merged the Icy Heavenly Tears and the Divine Virtuous Force into one, her internal arts became known as the Golden Invincible Skill.
Shi Shi the Stellar Heaven Fairy looked quietly at Xiao Youxue. That day in the garden courtyard she had actually witnessed the duel between Ximen Nanqing and her!
She could not believe her very eyes when she seen seven hovering wisps of spatial energies around her; that was obvious the Invincible Divine Force, a secret divine skill that was known only to Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress and Dugu Yunzi the new protégé mistress of the Infinity Sword Celestial Clan!
She had kept quiet because Youxue had said to her, “Dear elder sister, please don’t tell anyone what you have seen. I don’t want to let the others know…that I know the Invincible Divine Force…”
Youxue quickly added, “I didn’t steal the intricate formula of the Invincible Divine Force from Lie Qing. The Divine Virtuous Force shares the same origin as the Invincible Divine Force. But through the epitome intricacy formula of the Icy Heavenly Tears, I am able to decipher some of the epitome secret arts of the Invincible Divine Force. It helps that I have mastered the Golden Impervious Body first.”
By a freak encounter in the Astronomic Stellar Formation, Shi Shi was an ancient celestial practitioner now. But the martial level of Yixian the Celestial Fairy, Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress, Youxue the former Endor Vixen Fairy and even Lele the Joyful Goddess surprised her to no ends!
She had remembered Yixian, Lele and Lie Qing as her former protégé disciples, as Revelation Star, Melody Star and Luminous Star. Again, fate brought them together…
But was it simply too much of a coincidences?
Because of the White Sage?
Or is it because of the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos?
Her thoughts were quickly interrupted by Lie Qing who said aloud, “Ping’Er, they are not the ones who are concern about you!”
Yi Ping muttered, “Qing’Er, you…you have not completely recovered from the last battle and alas, you are injured because of me too…”
Lie Qing smiled softly, “If I am not around, who is going to take care of you? Now that Yunzi is not around, I just have to do doubly hard!”
Lele said softly, “Sister Lie Qing! I am working just as hard too! Look at my bruises!”
She had meant it metaphorically. It was because in her present state of divinity and the opening of her Heaven Eyes to the Lesser Heavens Position, her Celestial Force was greatly augmented.
As her Celestial Force was one of most powerful internal arts and augmented by the opening of her Heaven Eyes to the Lesser Heavens Position, any bruises had already quickly vanished!
Yi Ping and Lie Qing could only smile weakly at Lele as they suppressed the urge to argue with her. It was because they were literally no match for her limitless spirit state!
Lie Qing almost wished she had practiced just as hard with her internal arts whenever she seen how spirited Lele had been!
But then Yixian was also an internal art practitioner but she did not seem to be as expressive as Lele. Or rather, Yixian was more refined and had a higher state of cultivation; her level of mental and spirit state exploded exponential when she was in battle.
It was because in a fight, most martial practitioners would conceal their true state of divinity!
The party that exhausted their state of divinity and gave way to panic, fear or hesitation would lose the fight!
In a fight, no doubt that true skills played an important part but that only represented a third of the winning chance.
Another third depended on the physical and mental conditions of the martial practitioner!
Yet another third depended on the divine state of the martial practitioner which was represented by their fighting spirit, fighting will and confidence!
A good example was Yi Ping who had persisted against stronger opponents through his undying fighting spirit!
Lie Qing giggled before she smiled affectionate at Yi Ping, “Ping’Er, you have become so strong now. You have driven away that divine beast! I think you are stronger than me now?”
But before Yi Ping could reply her, Lie Qing had fallen into his embrace!
She closed her eyes sleepily as she muttered, “That…is really a tough fight just now…”
Yi Ping nodded gently as he caressed her back gently, “That is right…”
Lie Qing had tanked for him despite her injuries earlier…
Yixian had also walked quietly beside Yi Ping as she said gently, “Ping’Er, are you well? Do you feel any discomfort?”
Yi Ping was touched as he muttered, “Xian’Er, I am well. Are you good?”
Yixian smiled gently as her heavenly eyes beamed, “I am well too.”
Yi Ping turned to ask the other maidens, “Lingfeng, Shi Shi, Han Lin, and Xiao Qiao, are you well? Are the rest of you well?”
The Goddess Aiel, Jing’Er and Yang Min were secretly disappointed that Yi Ping did not mention their names while Han Lin and Xiao Qiao the Celeste Wind Maiden were secretly pleased!
Lingfeng said tenderly, “Don’t worry, we have all pull through this time. I hope that we can exercise extra caution in the future. Alright?”
Yi Ping had a sudden smile, “Lingfeng, you are so caring now. I almost cannot believe that it is you.”
The eyes of Lingfeng was extremely alluring and she expressed her irritation with a suddenly flicker of her expressive eyes, “Is this the way you are supposed to talk to your grand protégé mistress?”
Yi Ping muttered softly, “The Lingfeng that I know is always bullying me while the grand protégé mistress that I have known is always avoiding me…”
Lingfeng was suddenly startled as she looked queerly at him, “That isn’t the Yi Ping that I know. How do you know I am always avoiding you?”
Yi Ping was stumbled for words when the Universal Old Man laughed, “I must have told him somehow. My Heaveness, I have almost broken both my arms earlier. You should show a little concern for me.”
Lingfeng said none too amusingly, “You can still joke now so that only means you are still well. So why should I waste my concern for you? After all…”
She smiled at Yi Ping, “He is my husband now!”
Yi Ping was flushing now!
Youxue laughed mesmerizing, “That is right. He is our husband now…”
Yi Ping had a sudden nosebleed when he looked at Youxue; he had suddenly recalled the scene when he was all alone with her in their previous incarnations. At that time when he was the White Sage, he was locked up together with the Endor Vixen Fairy (Youxue)…
He ended up looking at her enticing eyes…
Youxue was amused, “What happens? You are thinking of something dirty?”
She emphasized her tone coldly, “You must be for sure.”
Lingfeng chipped in, “Obviously he is. What else do you think?”
Yi Ping began to stammer for words, “I…I…”
Cornered by two of the most quick cognitive brilliant minded maidens in the entire fraternity, Yi Ping was at a loss of words.
It was because he had to think doubly hard of choosing the correct choice of words before he could reply them!
Yixian said gently, “Youxue, Lingfeng. Give Ping’Er a break. We should decide quickly on our next course of action. Don’t you think so?”
Her words may be gentle but she seemed to have a mysterious hold on everyone.
Although Yixian’s light blue ravishing hair had reverted to raven black but the blue insignia on her forehead remained and it seemed to have a mysterious fixation on everyone!
It was only then that the Goddess Isa and the Goddess Aiel had taken notice of the blue insignia of her Heaven Eyes!
The Goddess Aiel gasped aloud, “The Goddess Ishtar!”
The Goddess Isa was immediately startled!
Even she had suspected that the Celestial Fairy was an immortal practitioners but that was only a guess.
But now that the Goddess Aiel had mentioned it, she was startled that the Goddess Ishtar was not only an immortal practitioner but also one of the immortal practitioners of the Goddess Theocracy!
The Goddess Aiel and the Goddess Ishtar were extremely close. When the Goddess Ishtar had transgressed the sacred laws of the Goddess Theocracy and was punished to be voided out of the Three Realms, she had given her most precious artefact, the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword to the Goddess Aiel.
That was how the Goddess Aiel came to be known as Goddess Aiel the Heavenly Tears.
The Goddess Isa immediately mused, “So even the Goddess Ishtar is also back. It seems that the days of the Goddess Theocracy are now numbered!”
The Goddess Aiel was trembling as she held Yixian’s hands gently, “We have much to talk. Your mortal body may have perished but your immortal soul is eternal. I have often wondered when I will be able to see you again…Ishtar…”
Yixian was startled but she quickly put forth a gentle smile, “I am not the Ishtar that you know. You are not the Sister Yichi that I know too. Destiny must be playing a prank upon us. But I do hope that we can have the destiny to become good sisters.”
The Goddess Aiel clapped her hands jovially, “Wonderful!”
Yi Ping did not know why too but the scene moved him immensely!
The Goddess Aiel was smiling and her smiles were so expressive that it seemed too surreal.
It was like he was in a dream…
The Goddess Isa said quietly, “I have a presumptuous request. Join me. Aiel, join us please…”
The Goddess Aiel asked curiously, “Us? Who else is with you?”
The Goddess Isa pointed at Yi Ping, “Who else?”
Yi Ping quickly said, “Isa, let’s give up…”
The Goddess Aiel was also saying, “Isa, you can’t win against the Goddess Theocracy. You can’t win against…”
The Goddess Isa interrupted coldly, “I can’t win against the Goddess Celestial Alice just like I can’t win against her in the past? Is that what you mean to say?”
The Goddess Aiel nodded gently, “Even if you join hands with the Goddess Ishtar, it is still impossible…”
The Goddess Isa replied coldly, “The Astronomic Stellar Formation is no more. The Goddess Celestial Alice is no more. Now that I have rekindled my immortal state, we can destroy the Goddess Theocracy completely.”
She asked coldly as she looked at the Goddess Isa, Han Lin and Yixian, “You are not joining my cause? Han Lin and you? And the Celestial Fairy?”
Han Lin smiled weakly, “Can I even be considered as a true immortal practitioner? Your noble cause is too lofty for my sights.”
The Goddess Aiel smiled weakly, “Even though I was banished for transgression in the past, I am very much part of the Goddess Theocracy. The Goddess Ishtar and Goddess Astarte were voided out of the Three Realms completely for their transgression. I don’t want it to happen to me…”
The Goddess Isa hummed coldly, “It all depends on who is the current Eternal Goddess now that the Goddess Celestial Alice isn’t around anymore.”
The Goddess Aiel replied quietly, “The Holy Goddess Asura of the Seventh Heavens gives the heavenly edicts on behalf of the Goddess Theocracy now. But her few edicts were few in between. These immortal practitioners can’t be bothered with the practitioners that are in the First Heavens of the Celestial Realm and that include the ex-immortal practitioners that have been ex-communicated.”
The Goddess Isa had a startled expression in her eyes, “Asura? That is a surprise choice. So she is the Eternal Goddess now? The Goddess Theocracy will surely be ruined in her hands for sure. It is time to step down and give way for the other immortal factions then!”
The Universal Old Man had almost burst out, “There are other immortal factions?!” But he managed to resist the urge to do so…
Everyone especially Lingfeng the Heaveness, the Universal Old Man, Shi Shi, Yang Mi, the Celeste Wind Maiden and even Han Lin were all paying their full attention to their conversations that they scarcely dare to breathe!
It was because divine information that the Goddess Isa and Goddess Aiel were exchanging now was so precious in the Celestial Realm that the celestial practitioners nearly did not know anything about the Immortal Realm or the immortal practitioners!
Han Lin was a Dragon Practitioner and she too, was thriving to be an immortal practitioner. Like the Ancient Celestials, the Dragon Practitioners were also promised to be revealed the secrets of heavens so that they could cultivate as immortal practitioners and became immortal beings.
That promise was hidden in the Stellar Sanctuary!
The Goddess Isa had simply assumed that Han Lin had attained as an immortal practitioner during her long absence. Or rather, in her eyes the Goddess Aiel and Han Lin were already immortal practitioners?
The Goddess Aiel said to the Goddess Isa, “As far as I know, Asuna did not proclaim herself as the Eternal Goddess. Maybe that is the reason why the other Heavens Goddesses have ordained her to be interim leader of the Goddess Theocracy. And as you have known already, the Goddess Celestial Alice is trapped in the Astronomic Stellar Formation by the…”
She paused for a while as she smiled weakly at Yi Ping, “But that is her fate. Now that she is finally gone, there will probably be a new Eternal Goddess soon enough. But no matter what, there will be upheavals in the heavens for sure…”
Han Lin and the Celeste Wind Maiden were exchanging secret looks…
Yi Ping had a painful look in his expressions as he thought of Maiden Ziyan…
The Goddess Isa had suddenly noticed the expressions that were in Yi Ping, Han Lin, the Celeste Maiden, the Universal Old Man and Lele!
The Goddess Isa asked coldly, “What is wrong with you all? Are you afraid to fight with the immortal practitioners?”
Lie Qing laughed softly as she fingered her long braid hair, “Isn’t that obvious? Are you gullible or not? It seems that even Han Lin and the Celeste Wind Maiden know about it. It seems that the Goddess Celestial Alice is still the Eternal Goddess for she had survived the collapse of the Astronomic Stellar Formation.”
The Goddess Aiel and the Goddess Isa were so stunned that they were staring blankly!
Yi Ping said gently to the Goddess Isa, “Isa, let it go…”
The Goddess Isa had suddenly burst into tears much to the startled surprise of anyone as she raised her trembling fingers rapidly as she divined tearfully, “If…Alice has indeed overcome the Astronomic Stellar Formation then…there is a chance that she may transcend beyond the sixth immortal level to the seventh immortal level…”
The Goddess Aiel was also muttering, “The sixth immortal level is the Greater Cosmos Position of the Heaven Eyes. No one has ever gone beyond the sixth level before…”
The Goddess Isa said with trembling voice, “…Except for the Dark Cosmos Lord. Beyond the Greater Cosmos Position is the Seventh Cosmos Position…the ultimate seventh sense…the true immortal awakening…”
Yi Ping nodded gently as he sighed softly but he did not say a word for his mind was in a far, far away place…
The Goddess Isa laughed hilariously as she leaned against the wall as she looked at everyone, “How can you all remain so calm? Do you not know that a calamity is going to befall you very soon?”
Lele asked immediately with sympathizing eyes, “Isa, what is wrong? What does it matter if the Goddess Celestial Alice is still around? She doesn’t look so bad…”
The Goddess Isa interrupted coldly as she trembled, “She doesn’t look so bad?”
She laughed coldly as she pointed at Yi Ping, “She…kills him! Now you know why?”
Lele was shocked as she asked, “Surely not? She really does not look that bad and has even aided us in the Astronomic Stellar Formation. I think if she wants to kill us all, she will surely be able to but we are all still standing here now.”
The Goddess Isa hummed coldly, “That is because she is only waiting for an opportunity to free herself and overcome her heavenly tribulation at the same time! You may not believe but this is all part of her plans. She is not the Eternal Goddess for nothing. She will stop the Dark Cosmos Lord again. It is because it is the duties of the Goddess Theocracy to stop anyone from entering the Stellar Sanctuary! Just like she had killed him once, she will do it again!”
This time everyone was shocked!
But Yi Ping continued to remain compose as he said quietly, “That is her duty. I don’t blame her at all.”
The Universal Old Man immediately asked panicky, “She will kill us all? We are many. Even if she wants to stop us, she can’t possibly defeat the whole lot of us am I right? But what is the point? I doubt very much that we can ascend to the top levels of the Stellar Sanctuary given such a short time…”
The Goddess Isa replied coldly as she looked at Yi Ping, “Maybe you can’t but he will be able to.”
Everyone was looking at Yi Ping now!
Lingfeng asked softly, “You…are you really the Dark Cosmos Lord?! You better be honest with me. You have always been honest so you have better maintain this good point of yours!”
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he said as he touched his forehead, “I think so. I have little memories of the past incarnation or maybe that is just an illusion…”
He paused as he looked around the Stellar Sanctuary and at all the maidens, “This entire place and every one of you are eerily familiar to me. It is like I have seen you before somewhere, some place before…”
He looked at Yixian as he muttered, “Revelation Star…the Goddess Ishtar…”
He looked at Lie Qing and Lele, “Luminous Star and Melody Star…”
The Goddess Isa said quietly, “Your Heaven Eyes is the same mark as the Dark Cosmos Lord and your immortal level is the Seventh Cosmos Position!”
Lie Qing, Yang Min and Jing’Er were gasping!
Lele asked, “Yi Ping’s Heaven Eyes is the Seventh Cosmos Position? The same as the Goddess Celestial Alice now?”
Lingfeng nodded quietly, “I have never seen anyone that has attained the Seventh Position but if it comes from the Goddess Isa then it must be the truth. And from the look of it, it does seem like it.”
The eyes of the Goddess Isa were bleary, “In the end, you still don’t quite remember me and what we have been through…”
Youxue said coldly, “Don’t worry. He has always been very heartless.”
Lele laughed softly, “I think so as well!”
Lingfeng however was looking at Yi Ping curiously…
Yi Ping looked quietly at the Goddess Isa, “I remember you as Isa and some memories of us fighting together. I…”
He was at a loss to explain it!
All of a sudden Lingfeng said quietly, “That is because he has practiced a divine skill known as the Emptiness Translucence and now he has managed to further this divine skill to the Great Emptiness Translucence. The intricacy heart of the Great Emptiness Translucence is the Great Reflection of the Awareness. If he is the Dark Cosmos Lord or…the White Sage…he may remember scenes of it. However that is not the true intention of this divine skill. He is just lucky that he can recall some of us. That’s all.”
The Goddess Isa asked, “What kind of a divine skill is the Great Emptiness Translucence?”
Lingfeng explained coolly, “The Great Emptiness Translucence is just a skill to remember the innate reflexes of the practitioner without thinking about it. That is all.”
She may have explained it so casually and clearly but everyone knew that there was more to the Great Emptiness Translucence than this!
Everyone divine skills had their true heart intricacy formula and uses. It was considered rude to ask even in the first place.
Lele whispered softly, “Sister Lingfeng, will you teach me the Great Emptiness Translucence?”
Lingfeng smiled, “It is not a skill that is suitable for everyone. It has taken me a long time to find the…White Sage…”
She was suddenly melancholy…
The Goddess Isa nodded quietly, “I…understand it now…”
All of a sudden she said to Yi Ping with a gentle smile, “You are Yi Ping now. As for your past, I will surely tell you more if you really want to know. But maybe not here…”
She flashed a shy look at everyone before taking a longing look at Yi Ping, “They all have sharp ears…”
Yi Ping had a deep flush as he noticed the look of her affectionate eyes. He began to rub his nose as he smiled awkwardly, “We should continue on our way now…”
The Goddess Isa added shyly, “Then you mustn’t remember Alice too. She is the cause of your downfall. As for us, I am sure that we have plenty of time now to be together…”
All of a sudden she had collapsed gently into Yi Ping’s arms much to the startled shock of everyone!
Lele said with great indignity, “He is someone else husband now!”
Lingfeng muttered, “I am going to give him a kick and make sure he can’t walk again…”
Yi Ping dare not touch the Goddess Isa and he was trying to push her away while saying panicky, “Isa…Goddess Isa…we…I…there are others…”
Youxue said coldly, “So someone is saying that if there are no others around then he can do it as he pleases?”
Lie Qing was muttering, “I think I am going to give up my Heavenly Temptress title to her now…”
Yang Min, Jing’Er, Han Lin, the Goddess Aiel and even the Wind Celeste Maiden were all sighing secretly at Yi Ping and the Goddess Isa; it was because they had suddenly realized while the Goddess Isa had a lot more courage in pursuing her devotions than them!
The Goddess Isa did not seem to hear them as she whispered poetically, “Yi Ping, destiny parts us but united us again. Do you think that this time we can duel celestial together?”
Yi Ping was completely stunned that he was muttering incoherently!
The Goddess Isa whispered, “The Great Arcanum…”
All of a sudden there was an earthquake as the entire place began to shake violently!
Lingfeng was startled as she explained quickly, “Someone else is here and it seems that they have just broken through this level!”
The Universal Old Man was startled as well, “So fast?”
Youxue was saying panicky, “Let’s us go quickly!”
Lie Qing took a look at Youxue before she laughed softly, “Yes, we better hurry or else all the martial and celestial treasures will be seized by the others!”
Youxue smiled enchantingly, “Isn’t that our intentions for coming here? Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing?”
The Universal Old Man asked, “So which way should we go? There are seven passages and we can’t go to the passage where the divine beast had just gone too…”
Youxue pointed at the passage that was on top of three white platforms, “Let’s try that!”
Lingfeng nodded, “If Sister Youxue says so then we should go in that direction immediately. If there is anyone that I can entrust with my life in a maze then it is her!”
Yi Ping said awkwardly to the Goddess Isa, “Let’s go…”
The Goddess Isa nodded gently as she smiled, “Anything you say!”
Immediately Youxue and Lingfeng had reached the entrance of the passage that they were going to and they were quickly followed by the rest!
The Goddess Aiel was muttering to Han Lin, “Maybe we should exercise more caution. After all, this is the Stellar Sanctuary…”
Han Lin grabbed her, “Go! Or we lose track of them!”