A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 13


When Yi Ping and his group reappeared again to rejoin the main group, they exuded a beaming radiance and the delightful expressions that they had were like light that lifted the darkness! 

The other maidens from the main group were startled to see them coming back with such delightful mood that they were envious!

Yixian smiled, “Ping’Er, what takes you so long to come back?”

Youxue sighed softly, “Now I really regret not going after Lele!”

Lingfeng was happy to see them in such high spirits. She was a little worried for Lele and Yi Ping when it took them so long to return. So it seemed that her worries were misplaced!

She yawned softly, “So our dashing hero is finally back.”

Shi Shi smiled, “Welcome back!”

The Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Aiel and the Goddess of Mercy were obviously startled to see them in such exuberant spirits and radiating a delightful happiness that seemed to be infectious! 

Han Lin, Jing’Er, the Celeste Wind Maiden, Lady Winter Plum and Yang Min were smiling too!

Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage muttered, “Such enviable people.”

Lingfeng startled by his enveloping righteous animus!

She smiled to herself, stealing a glance at Yixian at the same time, “It seems that he has finally reached enlightenment…”

Yixian was looking beaming at Yi Ping, “He has finally reach enlightenment and has finally put everything aside. He has finally returned to his old self…”

When Yi Ping had caught the sight of everyone again, he sighed softly in his heart. “It is really not easy for everyone to reach this point. Whether I am the White Sage or the Dark Chaos Lord, it isn’t important anymore. If it is our destiny to be at the same place and time, then I should make atonement for the past or at the very least, help end the feuds that have started long ago…” 

When he had thought of this, his eyes became spirited and his mood light! 

Alice and Isa were quietly observing Yi Ping and they were secretly startled. It was because they had recalled seeing this light-spirited expression that was constantly accompanying the Dark Chaos Lord which was his trademark countenance!

Alice had remembered that she had thought of the Dark Chaos Lord as an arrogant badass fellow when she had her first meeting with him. To add fuel to fire, he was so bold to even name his sword after her. How Insolence of him and infuriating!

Needless to say, her impression of him was horribly bad in the beginning…

The Universal Old Man hastily called out excitingly, “Ping’Er, come over here quickly. The Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess of Mercy have just taught us a way to gauge our divine practice. You don’t want to miss this!” 

Yi Ping was beside the Universal Old Man in an instant as he asked excitedly, “Protégé Master, really?”

The rest of the maidens rejoined the main group and immediately the entire group was jovial and alive!

“Where did you go?”

“What sweet nothings did Yi Ping says to Lele? Lele looks absolutely happy compared to earlier…”

“Did something interesting happen?”

Yi Ping smiled weakly as everyone began to crowd around him. 

He raised his voice to make himself heard above the ruckus, “There is a way to gauge our divine progression?”

The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled weakly at Yi Ping as she nodded…

The Goddess of Mercy quickly said, “Alice, you take a rest first. Your injuries are the worse here…”

The Goddess Isa knew what the Goddess of Mercy was going to say, so she said weakly. “That is right. Let the Goddess of Mercy explained to the newly arrivals…”

Both Isa and Alice nodded approvingly. 

Even the golden Kirin cub was howling to show its approval! 

Yi Ping nodded at them gently, “Alice, Isa…”

His heart ached at their present condition but he had kept it to himself.

Indeed their injuries were not light. 

Even for immortals of their caliber, they may not survive what the Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess of Mercy had gone through!

They had literally taken the blunt of the Esper Formation and were later smashed hard onto the celestium floor. The very reasons that they had survived were because Alice was protected by her divine robe and her celestium silk while Isa was protected by her newly restored celestium armor!

The Goddess of Mercy forced a weak smile as she looked at Yi Ping…

Yi Ping smiled, “Maiden Xiang…”

The Goddess of Mercy said playfully, “I will like you to call me Xiang’Er!”

Yi Ping hesitated for a while because he had suddenly noticed many of the maidens were groaning with displeasure with their eyes but he coolly said, “Xiang’Er, can you show us the details?”

The Goddess of Mercy raised both of her hands in front of Yi Ping. All of a sudden the tips of her fingers began to glow with a dim golden light!

She smiled, “This is the basic Deific Divine Skill.”

Yi Ping was startled as he appraised her curiously.

The Goddess of Mercy smiled as she explained, “From my right hand to my left hand, there are altogether ten fingers. Each of the light on my finger represents a state of divinity.”

Yi Ping understood immediately but he asked, “But there are only seven states of immortal divinities, am I right? Where does the three extra comes from?”

The Universal Old Man began to laugh heartily, “You haven’t figure out, am I right?”

Lingfeng said unhappily, “Hey! You also didn’t figure out earlier. None of us did!”

The Universal Old Man protested weakly, “I am just trying to pull a quick one on Ping’Er, what is wrong with you?”

Yi Ping rubbed his nose as he made a guess, “I surmise that at the beginning of this intricacy practice, we have to gain the practice of getting the first of the fingers to glow first. Only then can we truly use this divine skill to track our immortal practice. The second finger will only glow once a celestial practitioner has accumulated enough cultivation to begin the Immortal Practice? The third to the ninth finger represents the different various stages of the Immortal Practice? And the tenth marks the full attainment of the Immortal Practice?”

The Goddess of Mercy stammered astonishingly, “You know?!”

Everyone was also gasping!

Yi Ping smiled weakly, “I am just making a lucky guess. That is all.”

The Universal Old Man muttered, “Oh well, I got a smart protégé. Like protégé master, like protégé…”

Lingfeng coughed coldly, “My foot!” 

The Goddess of Mercy smiled weakly, “So here is the intricacy formula of the Deific Divine Skill…”

Shen Xingyue, Lie Qing, Ye Yin, Mei’Er and Yu’Er gathered excitingly around the Goddess of Mercy to receive the instructions of the Deific Divine Skill…

Lele was beaming alluring to Yi Ping, “You have better progress fast or else I won’t forgive you!”

Yi Ping answered coolly, “I will. Stay safe…”

The Goddess of Mercy began to recite to them the intricacy formula of the Deific Divine Skill…

But no sooner had she finished reciting the Deific Divine Skill, the Goddess Celestial Alice rose up hastily to say, “There is no time to lose anymore. We must make haste now. We may not be able win against the Dark Primordial Heavenly King and the Great Ascetic Heavenly King right now but we may be able to get ahead of them. It is their first time in the Stellar Sanctuary and they may not be as familiar as us.”

Yi Ping was startled, “Now?”

It was obvious to him that Alice, Isa and Gusu Xiang were in no condition to continue their way. The traps and monsters in the unknown Stellar Sanctuary were simply overwhelming…

Alice turned around to ask the Goddess Isa and the Goddess of Mercy, “Isa, Goddess of Mercy. Are you strong enough to walk?”

Isa replied weakly, “Definitely better than you.”

The Goddess of Mercy laughed weakly, “Speak for yourself first!”

Alice nodded, “I have recovered a tenth of my martial strength so that is enough for me.”

Yi Ping clenched his fist quietly. He had only respect for their determination…

Deep inside, he wanted to protest but he knew that she was right. If they do not hurry, their opponents may catch up with them. Just one glance at the Great Ascetic Heavenly King, he knew that he was not an easy opponent to defeat at all. If the Dark Primordial Heavenly King was with him, then they really had little chance! 

Yi Ping may not experience the martial strength of the Great Ascetic Heavenly King yet but he had a firsthand experience of the fight between the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess Asura. He knew that the Great Ascetic Heavenly King was leagues above them! 

And most of his group had been badly hurt by the Esper Formation and the artefact manifest monster…

All of a sudden Yi Ping had noticed that the mood of his group had become extremely solemn!

It did not escape the notice of Lele, Shen Xingyue, Lie Qing, Yu’Er, Ye Yin and Mei’Er!

Lie Qing immediately asked, “Did something happen while we are not here? What is wrong with all of you?”

Ye Yin, Yu’Er and Mei’Er were stunned at the sudden atmosphere. Their empathy skills were the strongest in the group and they were extremely sensitive. It was as though something was already being planned in their absence!

Jing’Er took a forlorn look at Yi Ping, “Hero Yi Ping, it is time for us to part.”

Yi Ping was shaken, “Jing’Er, what happens?”

Jing’Er stole a look at the Goddess Aiel and the Goddess Celestial Alice, “Nothing happens. I just don’t want to be your hindrance…”

Yi Ping quickly interrupted her, “No you are not…”

Jing’Er smiled gently, “And I am not the only one that is leaving too.”

Yi Ping took a step back, stumped by the announcement!

But he quickly composed himself to say as he took a look at everyone, “But this is the Stellar Sanctuary. No one can leave once they are in it…”

Alice said, “Yes and no. I have the artefact core of the Stellar Sanctuary with me. I can use the warping formation to forcefully expel practitioners out of the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yi Ping was startled, “Really?!”

Alice nodded weakly, “But it can only be used once. I have waited till I have sufficient internal strength to do so. Those that wants to leave now, now is the perfect time to do so before it is too late.”

Yi Ping was trembling, “Therefore, some of you have already decided to leave because you don’t want to be my hindrance? Is that so?”

Yang Min said gently, “That is right!”

Yi Ping laughed melancholy, “Good! Good! Then let’s us all leave together! I don’t really care for the martial secrets or for the celestial treasures of the Stellar Sanctuary anyway!”

The Goddess of Mercy said quietly, “No, we can’t.”

Yi Ping was stupefied, “Why is that so?”

The Goddess of Mercy replied melancholy, “Because this warping formation does not work for the true immortals like us. We have to face the wrath of the Great God Pangu should we decide to enter the Stellar Sanctuary. Moreover…”

She took a guilty look at the Goddess Celestial Alice, “We have made a terrible mistake and we must atone for it. The only way to stop the forthcoming divine calamity is to reach the very top and hope that everything can still be reversible.”

Alice nodded…

Yi Ping asked, “What kind of a forthcoming divine calamity?”

He hoped that she would not tell him that the mysteries of heavens cannot be revealed…

Alice said quietly as she moved her fingers to calculate again, “Earlier, I did a quick divination…”

Isa whispered softly for the benefit of those who were not presented earlier, “The Goddess Celestial Alice is extremely gifted in divinations, the best in the Immortal Realm in which she has no equal. More so when she has attained the Seventh Cosmos Positioning.”

Alice said weakly, “This is the seventh time the Stellar Sanctuary has appeared in the Celestial Realm. I have often wondered how long the Stellar Sanctuary will continue to appear. The appearance of the Stellar Sanctuary is an imbalance in itself and many of the immortals are right to fear it…”

She sighed softly, “But everyone just wants to enter the Stellar Sanctuary to seize the leftover divine power of the Great God Pangu and to loot the numerous treasures of the Stellar Sanctuary. But no one has succeeded. Many of the immortals are of the view that the very reason why the Stellar Sanctuary has descended onto the Celestial Realm; it is for only the most powerful immortals to descend and attempt.”

“However for whatever reasons, everything is only guesswork. That is why I have sealed the Stellar Sanctuary…”

She looked at the Goddess Isa, “…finally I had relented for him…”

The Goddess Isa nodded melancholy…

She muttered softly, “I still do not know what I have done is right or wrong. It is because it is impossible to know Heavens’ Will. But I have drawn out a conclusion, a terrible conclusion.”

Yi Ping asked nervously, “What is it?”

“A terrible conclusion that no one will possibly believe. A reversal of the Stellar Sanctuary will happen…a correction to the imbalance appearance of the Stellar Sanctuary. I believe that the Dark Descendant will soon happen. Whether it will happen in the Celestial Realm or the Immortal Realm, either way is unthinkable!”

Yi Ping was trembling and he was seized with dread, “The Dark Descendant…it is happening again…”

Celestials will kill Celestials, Immortals will kill Immortals to gain quick attainment!…

A new order will begin anew again…

Alice said, “Yi Ping, this is not your battle. You don’t have to accompany us. After all, it may not be true. No matter, it is my duty to stop the immortals from interfering with the celestials in the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yi Ping said quietly, “I understand. But I am staying.”

There was silence…

Yixian said coolly, “I am staying too.”

Lie Qing laughed softly, “Of course I am staying too!”

Ye Yin said, “I am staying too.”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er chorus together, “I am staying too!” 

Lele quickly said, “Hmph! Count me in too!”

The Goddess Aiel laughed softly, “Lele, I don’t think the warping formation works for you at all. You are half-immortal now.”

Lele groaned miserably, “Actually I want to leave now…”

Old Venerable Vanquisher Sage said solemnly, “It is not that I am afraid. I must quickly go back to the Holy Ascension Sect to reveal the known names of the Immortal Practice. Moreover with the immortals that are now here in the Stellar Sanctuary, not many of the Celestials will be able to survive this time. There is bound to be chaos. I must warn everyone to get ready.”

He inhaled a soft sigh as he looked at the Goddess Aiel, “Ai…take care…”

Aiel replied quietly, “You too…”

Lady Winter Plum said melancholy as she looked at the Universal Old Man, “I must return to my own sect and exposed Chu Mingfan! Moreover…”

She lowered her gaze, “In the end, I am still too weak for the Stellar Sanctuary. Even then…”

She beamed positively as she smiled at the Universal Old Man who did not seem to notice her, “I have gained plenty of experiences, including the knowledge of the names of the Immortal Practice.”

She tapped the Universal Old Man lightly, startling him. “Hey! Don’t die!”

The Universal Old Man was startled, “Me?”

He was suddenly flustered because he was not used to getting this type of attention. He stammered, “Why me and not Yi Ping?”

She laughed softly, “That is because you are my idol. Long ago, you have helped me…”

The Universal Old Man stared at this heavenly maiden, “I did?…”

She pretended to be upset, “Seems like you are really getting old. I will tell you next time. If you don’t mind, you can come to my humble abode at the Three Plum Sect.”

The Universal Old Man smiled awkwardly, “Where is it?”

Lady Winter Plum sighed miserably…

The Heaveness Lingfeng was cursing silently before she said exasperatedly, “Like protégé, like protégé master! You are hopeless!”

Yi Ping smiled weakly at her…

Lingfeng winked at Yi Ping, “Don’t look at me like this. I am staying. Someone has to be your guide to get you out of trouble in the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yi Ping rubbed his nose, “It will be perfectly boring if someone isn’t here to give me her advice…”

Lingfeng resisted throwing at him one of her hundreds of secret projectiles. Instead she lifted her leg and sent her footwear into his face!

Yi Ping smiled miserably, “That is too sneaky…”

He sighed softly, “I can’t believe that I can’t see that coming…”

Lingfeng laughed softly, “Don’t rub your nose when you are talking to me. It is perfectly dangerous to do so!”

Yunzi smiled, “I am staying.”

Youxue gave a sleepy smile, “I am staying too.”

Even though Yunzi and Youxue said little but their expressions already spoke volumes of their undying love for Yi Ping! 

Yi Ping knew that it was impossible to persuade them so he did not attempt to. 

The Celeste Wind Maiden said quietly as she looked at Yi Ping, “I am leaving. The Celestial Aiel Sect needs me.”

She smiled at Ye Yin, “Let hope that you can pull through. I am hoping for a duel with you.”

Ye Yin smiled, “Anytime!”

Yi Ping was startled that Xiao Qian was also leaving. She was really a powerful fighter. But what right did he have to stop her from leaving?

He guessed that Han Lin was also leaving…

But Han Lin said, “Mistress, I am staying!”

The Goddess Celestial Aiel rebuked her solemnly, “Han Lin, we may not survive this trip. You very well know this. I know that you miss me but ever since Yi Ping had helped me to unseal my Heaven Eyes, I am an immortal now…”

Han Lin protested immediately, “Fat hope! I am not staying wholly because of you.”

She started to look at Yi Ping with a weird expression, “Huh, don’t misunderstood. I am also not staying…because of you…”

Everyone knew that she was lying, including Yi Ping.

Yi Ping muttered, “Han Lin…”

Han Lin looked at Yi Ping in the eyes but said nothing…

Shi Shi interrupted them, “Ping’Er, I will accompany my protégé sisters Yang Min and Jing’Er. We have plenty of catching up to do. Take good care of yourself…”

Yi Ping muttered, “Shi Shi…”

Shi Shi was the first heavenly maiden that they had met in the Celestial Realm and she had helped them a lot. 

She smiled, “Ping’Er, don’t you worry for me. I am an Ancient Celestial now and moreover, you have given such a good divine sword. I can surely protect myself.”

Yi Ping nodded…

He was a little sad that so many were leaving but at the same time he was glad. It was because they will be safer outside than in the Stellar Sanctuary. 

Yang Min looked up to him, her expressions were beholding. “Yi Ping, I will never forget about you. Please come back safe and sound or I will never forgive you!”

Yi Ping muttered, “Yang Min…”

All of a sudden Yang Min fell into his embrace as she cried out, “You must…”

Everyone was moved…