A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 23

The Dark Primordial and Great Ascetic Heavenly Kings

In a forest glade somewhere on the fortieth floor of the Stellar Sanctuary…

A short wrinkled old man with a white plum fan was squatting on top of a boulder as he laughed hoarsely at the scene below him; an extremely beautiful heavenly maiden with tattered robe was languishing painfully on the ground and was being kicked by another old wrinkled man with a long beard in a black robe while three younger men were watching solemnly behind!

The wrinkled old man with a white plum fan was Yun Dingzhong the Great Ascetic Heavenly King while the old man in black robe was Old Man Xuantian the Dark Primordial Heavenly King!

The extremely beautiful heavenly maiden had broken into cold sweat and the loose threads of her wet hair were upon her petite face. 

“Goddess Asura, hehe!” Old Man Xuantian laughed coldly as he kicked her again, “You didn’t think that you will fall into my hands?” 

Yun Dingzhong hummed coldly as he stared at the other three immortal practitioners that were cowering next to them, “So the hunter has now become the hunted!” 

The three immortal practitioners that were standing at the side were all stammering, “May the Great Ascetic Heavenly King spares us. We have already done what you have asked by luring the Goddess Asura to you…”

Yun Dingzhong casted them a cold stare that caused them to be silenced immediately before he smirked coldly, “I will let you go when I am in a happier mood. But now, it is not your place to speak!”

Old Man Xuantian caught hold of the long hair of the Goddess Asura as he pulled her head to him while sitting on her and at the same time he was also caressing her back shamelessly, “How dare you kill my disciple Chu Mingfan! Do you know how long I have been grooming this good disciple of mine as one of the most powerful leaders in the Celestial Realm? Speak! Where are your companions and where is your rendezvous point?” 

The Goddess Asura held back her tears as she gasped while making a futile attempt to grab her divine staff the Symphony of Destiny which was lying next to her, “I don’t know…any Chu Mingfan…and I certainly won’t betray…my group! Don’t touch…me!”

Old Man Xuantian hummed coldly, “Hmph! You are still quite tight! Do you believe that I have many ways to force you to submit to my will? Trust me. There are fates that are worse than death and I will have you down on your knees as you beg me for your mercy but I shall show you none of that! So make the oath and submit to me!”

Yun Dingzhong smirked coldly, “You have already broken her legs as a warning. If she still did not want to submit to you, teach her a lesson and humiliate her.”

As the Old Man Xuantian slipped his hands past her robe and into her bodice, the Goddess Asura screamed disconsolately, “Don’t touch me! Have…you forgotten about…the sacred laws of…the Immortal Realm!”

Old Man Xuantian laughed wickedly as he spat furiously, “What sacred laws? We are now in the Stellar Sanctuary where we are not bounded by any heavenly laws. Haven’t you been hunting the other immortals and killing anyone that refused to heed you? So what is the difference between you and me?” 

Yun Dingzhong said hoarsely, “Brother, are you thinking of using force to copulate with her? This is considered low hand!” 

Old Man Xuantian stopped in his tracks as he looked at Yun Dingzhong with a cold smile, “So what do you suggest?”

The Goddess Asura was slightly relieved when the Old Man Xuantian had stopped invading her as she thought that maybe Yun Dingzhong would admonish Old Man Xuantian for daring to commit such an abhorrent act against a fellow immortal practitioner! 

But the next words that had come from Yun Dingzhong totally sunk her heart, “You should try to use persuasion first. Failing that then you may use force. It is only proper. Hahaha!”

Old Man Xuantian laughed, “Brother, are you envy of me? We have made an agreement for you to take the Goddess Celestial Alice and I will take the Goddess Asura. Are you trying to be a sour grape now? At most after I have toyed with her, I will let you have a share!”

Yun Dingzhong laughed aloud, “Then let me offer my sincere thanks to brother first!”

They were obviously making sport out of her as she cried out woefully, “Beasts! The two of you are beasts and are unfit to be called Immortals! Where are your honor…don’t you have any shame at all…”

The immortal practitioner that was standing in the middle was trembling as he clenched his fists to say, “This is enough…”

But he had never got the chance to finish as Yun Dingzhong had suddenly raised his fingers and struck him down in a thunderous bloodied impact with his Divine Scattering Impact!

The other two immortal practitioners were scared out of their wits as they turned ashen. It was because to be able to kill an immortal that was naturally protected by their golden body with just a single hit, it spoke volumes of the vast martial differences between them! 

What was scary was that all three of them were ranked among the powerful immortals and they were all at the fifth immortal positioning; the Lesser Cosmos Positioning! 

The Goddess Asura was at the sixth immortal positioning; the Greater Cosmos Positioning and even then she was helpless against the Old Man Xuantian the Dark Primordial Heavenly King! 

Earlier Yun Dingzhong the Great Acetic Heavenly King had subdued them with the mere power of his Mayhem Divine Force, it actually had taken him some time. But now when he had suddenly displayed his Divine Scattering Impact and killed one of their own instantly, they knew now that he was merely toying with them earlier and giving them an impression that they may still have that little chance if they were to unite together! 

Even the Goddess Asura was shocked at the sudden martial display of Yun Dingzhong as she stared in disbelief. It was because it was nearly impossible to kill any immortal outright as all the immortals were naturally protected by a golden body which minimized the impact of physical blows. 

Her golden indestructible body combined with her Mystica Intricacies Force was a deadly defensive combination which offered her a greater protection than most others but Old Man Xuantian was able to break her legs so effortlessly. 

With her Symphony of Destiny, she could only manage thirty strokes against Old Man Xuantian and he was not even trying his best. By now, she had completely given up hope as her body limped coldly onto the ground as she realized that they were just toying with her to break her spirit…

Yun Dingzhong said coldly, “Did I just hear a dog barking? There seems to be two more dogs here. What if these two dogs are to go around telling the others what they have seen then our good repute will be forever tarnish?”

The two immortal practitioners fell to their knees immediately as they cried aloud at the same time, “We can make an oath to Heavens that we certainly won’t reveal what we have witnessed today! Please have mercy upon us! We swear to the Eternal Heavens that we won’t reveal anything that has happened today! If only the Acetic Heavenly King is willing to show us a little mercy!” 

Yun Dingzhong smirked coldly, “Since the two of you have made the oaths then I am willing to bestow an act of mercy on you. I may even be happy to let the two of you share Asura after we are done with her. What is it? You are not happy with my arrangement?”

The two immortal practitioners were stunned but they dare not show any signs of displeasure so they quickly cried out loudly to offer their most profuse thanks!

The Goddess Asura could not take it anymore as she coughed out blood on the spot!

This brought up a smile on the tip of Yun Dingzhong and Old Man Xuantian!

Old Man Xuantian laughed aloud as he flipped her over, “Her golden body is broken at last!”

Yun Dingzhong laughed coldly as he feasted lustfully at the half naked Asura, “So finally you can touch her tender flesh. It seems that you have found someone to replace Chu Mingfan and she is someone who is in an even higher position.”

Old Man Xuantian had already slipped his hands into her restricted areas even as he popped a pill into her mouth while saying lustfully to her, “Normally this type of pill won’t work on you. But since your golden body has been broken, you won’t be able to resist it even if your willpower and internal strength is at its peak. Soon you will be the most wanton woman and you will be begging me to dominate you. If I am in a good mood, I may even decide to dual celestial with you and help you to further your immortal practice. All these will naturally depend on your performance!” 

The Goddess Asura limped coldly and she no longer had any emotions. It was because she had suddenly realized that she had been tricked. When her rage emotions attacked her and when she had coughed out blood, her golden body was broken and that was really their true objective. The thought of losing her chastity to them caused her spirit to be completely broken as well!

Old Man Xuantian hummed coldly, “Why are you playing hard to get? You should be more passionate. When I have become the Great God, I will also claim the throne of the Goddess Theocracy. Then you still have to come under my domination. It is just a matter of sooner or later.”

But still, the Goddess Asura said nothing but remained completely emotionless…

Yun Dingzhong hummed coldly to remind him, “You are not the only one who will become Great God. Don’t forget that we are in this together.”

Old Man Xuantian laughed, “Of course, of course!” 

“Let her go immediately!” There was a great shout that thundered valiantly from beyond the forest glade!

The Old Man Xuantian looked up coldly just in time to see a young refine young man and a alluring young maiden in a gold-white armor dashing toward them; indeed they were Yi Ping and the Goddess Isa!

Yi Ping was teething with rage as he popped in front of them in the next instant, followed by the Goddess Isa. Their swiftness movements were indeed extraordinary impressive! 

When the Goddess Asura heard a valiant shout, her spirits was immediately stirred. But when she saw that it was only Yi Ping and the Goddess Isa, her hopes sunk again and she lowered her head in humiliation. She knew that they were certainly not the match of these two Heavenly Kings but why would they come to defend her? If they had come in a bigger group then there may be a shimmer of hope but it seemed that she would be able to escape from their clutches. She muttered feverishly, “Alice…I am sorry…I have failed in my mission…but I won’t betray you…”

The Goddess Isa was stunned at the humiliating sight of the Goddess Asura as she thought shockingly as she saw that her golden eyes had now turned to gray, “Her golden body has been broken through? But how…”

A sense of nausea and fear swelled within her which caused her to turn extremely pale because what had happened to Asura could also happen to her! 

Immediately her hostility toward this one-time opponent vanished as she casted a cold stare at Old Man Xuantian, Yun Dingzhong and the two immortal practitioners that were still kneeling on the ground. 

She said icily to Old Man Xuantian even as her body began to shudder, “Let go of your hands immediately and what do you think that you are doing? I have never expected that the Heavenly Kings will be capable of such an abhorrent act!”

Yun Dingzhong the Great Ascetic Heavenly King had naturally recognized Yi Ping and the Goddess Isa. That day, he had deliberately let them off for the time being because he was waiting for Old Man Xuantian and Chu Mingfan. 

He immediately said, “Brother Xuantian, do you remember that I have encountered a group that has the Green Dragon Sacred Sword?”

Old Man Xuantian stared coldly at Yi Ping, “So it is this group that had stolen the Green Dragon Sacred Sword and had killed my beloved protégé Mingfan. I remember that you mention that there are two maidens that are from this group that you want? Is she the one?”

Yun Dingzhong laughed, “She is a really a great beauty. Even in the Immortal Realm, it is difficult to find such heavenly beauties. If I am not wrong, she must be a Goddess. But I have always been generous with you, just as you have always been generous with me. You can have her if you want. I just want the other two.”

He was referring to Lele and Han Lin! 

Old Man Xuantian laughed, “Brother Dingzhong is really generous with me. If I don’t accept your generous offer then I am really too petty! I am really in luck today. There are two Goddesses for me today.”

In the Immortal Realm, there was a strict hierarchy in the choice of immortal titles for the heavenly maidens. Goddess was the title for the most heavenly maidens, followed by Sagess and Fairy. 

The Goddess Isa was shocked beyond words as she shuddered uncontrollably; it was because they were treating her as though she was a commodity and had totally no regards for her. If they were not the Heavenly Kings, she would have unsheathed her sword to fight them immediately! 

Now that Yi Ping was so close to these two Heavenly Kings, he could feel that the air was filled with their suffocating malevolent presence that seemed to be strangling him. He immediately knew that they were extremely powerful. 

But that did not stop red-faced Yi Ping from shouting aloud again even as his entire body began to tremble uncontrollably in their presence, “Let go of her immediately or don’t blame me for being impolite!”

That was going to be Yi Ping’s last warning to them. Heavenly Kings or not, what they were doing now was despicable and he was not going to watch silently by the side!

Isa was really scared and this was the very first time that she was so fearful. Not for herself but for Yi Ping. It seemed that he really did not know how formidable these Heavenly Kings really were! 

Old Man Xuantian was amused because these two puny newly arrivals did not seem to know that their lives were hanging on a thread as he smirked coldly while looking at Isa lustfully, “What if I don’t? Or maybe you want to join me? No one will know about it.”

That was really the last straw and Yi Ping had raised his palm forward as he displayed the Heaven Stance of the Divine Horizon Hands! 

Old Man Xuantian was secretly smiling as he raised his palm forward to receive Yi Ping’s blow. 

It was because he knew that his opponent had been attacked by rage emotions hence losing the upper hand in judgement and superior air which was critical in a combat. But of course for a powerful fighter like himself, there was really no need to resort to such psychology means to gain advantages. 

His main objective was to break his opponent’s spirit to the point of no return! 

When an opponent was under the influence of inferiority, those elements that had once haunted him would create an additional invisible barrier that would hinder his future progression. Most had never recovered and they sunk into deep depressions!

As Yi Ping was near to him, he had immediately changed his stance to the Ultrapowerful Force, his intention was to force this old man to back off first while he rescued the Goddess Asura! 

There was a thunderous impact that shook the vicinity as Yi Ping and Old Man Xuantian were both forced to take seven steps back due to the tremendous backlash of their martial outburst! 

Yi Ping was quickly caught by the Goddess Isa as she asked panicky, “Yi Ping, are you alright?”

Yi Ping could still feel the trembling of his right hand. The martial power of his opponent was indeed powerful!

He answered Isa as he gritted his teeth, “I am alright!”

Even though he had casually lifted his palm to receive Yi Ping’s blow but Old Man Xuantian was still startled when he was pushed back seven steps as he muttered under his breath, “His martial strength…”

Yun Dingzhong was also startled as he lifted his thick white brows to appraise this young man anew! 

One must know how formidable Old Man Xuantian’s internal strength was. Even though he did not appear to exercise any martial power but in order to move him from his spot was like moving an unmovable mountain. Therefore one could imagine the amount of martial strength and power required! 

The Goddess Asura was even more startled when she had witnessed it. It was because she had personally sounded out Yi Ping’s martial strength. It was impossible to have such leaps and bounds in his martial strength in such a short time. Certainly not even in a thousand years for internal strength practice was painfully slow and the gains were minutes! 

All of a sudden her lifeless body began to tremble and there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes…

Old Man Xuantian secretly vowed to make this young man pay dearly for this humiliation as he asked coldly, “Just who are you?”

His face was flinching slightly because he had thought it weird that someone would actually receive a blow from him and emerged unscathed even though he had not gotten serious yet. 

But the most baffled thing was that when they had exchanged blows, he could feel the unmistaken impact of the Universal Force. The Heavenly Relics were the container vessels of the Universal Force and in the living, it was impossible to contain the sheer erratic energy of the Universal Force. That was why divine swords had to be forged from the Heavenly Relics to act as vessel for the Lesser Universal Force and the more powerful divine swords were the vessels for the Greater Universal Force. 

“Or is it because of the divine sword that is at his side? A divine sword that has been imbued with the Universal Force?” 

Old Man Xuantian had made these analysis at the same time when he had asked, “Just who are you?” 

Yi Ping immediately said sternly, “I am Yi Ping and just who you are?”

Old Man Xuantian was secretly enraged that this insolent young man did not even know him but he suppressed his emotions as he replied coldly, “You can address me as Old Man Xuantian.”

The Goddess Isa immediately whispered to Yi Ping, “He is Old Man Xuantian the Dark Primordial Heavenly King and the one with the white plum fan you have met before is Yun Dingzhong the Great Ascetic Heavenly King.” 

She wanted to tell Yi Ping that the two of them were not their match and that they had to find the first opportunity to escape. But she suppressed this urge as it was as good as telling their opponents that they were fearful of them. She could only pray that the rest of their group would not be able to find them anytime soon or they would only be delivering themselves to these two Heavenly Kings! 

She could only suppress the rest to her heart as she thought heart wrenchingly, “Yi Ping, I am glad to perish with you. May we become a couple in our next life!” 

It was because she knew that killing the two Heavenly Kings were even more difficult than ascending to the Heavens and the stoned expression that was on the Goddess Asura had already told her that she had completely resigned herself to her ill-fated adversity…

She unsheathed her Divine Constellation Sword as she stared hatefully at the two Heavenly Kings!

Actually Yi Ping was not hopeful at all but he was teething with rage at the harsh treatment of the Goddess Asura and he was not thinking too hard either.

All of a sudden Old Man Xuantian snapped his fingers as he said coldly, “Brother Dingzhong, you don’t mind leaving them to me?”

Yun Dingzhong lifted the curve of his mouth with a cold smile, “Of course not.”

Old Man Xuantian pointed his wrinkled finger at the Goddess Asura before saying to Yi Ping, “How about this. If you can defeat me then I will let you this lass away. But if you can’t defeat me then you will pass the ownership of your divine sword to me? Naturally, you are allowed to use your divine sword against my bare hands. Is it a fair deal?”

The Goddess Isa immediately said, “Yi Ping, don’t fall into his trick and accept the duel. You can’t possibly solo him. You have to remember that he is a Heavenly King and he is not someone that we can solo on our own!”

Yi Ping was perplexed. It was because if he could win him then naturally he would be able to take the Goddess Asura away. But if he lost then he would only need to surrender his divine sword to him? Was it some kind of a trick?

Therefore he began to smile bitterly. After he had been through so many wily ruses, he had certainly grown wiser now. That was his cumulated experience! 

The Goddess Asura could not help but feel captivated by Yi Ping’s heroic aura. Seeing the expressions that were on the Goddess Isa, she knew that she was trying to hint Yi Ping to flee as fast as possible but was unable to sound him out directly so as not to lose the psychology edge. 

But it would be a different matter if she was the one that sounded him out. 

Therefore she said piteously with fluffy red eyes as she stared blankly at the ground, “Hero, you can go now. This has nothing to do with you in the first place. This is my fate.”

Yi Ping looked at this stunning beauty who did not lose her bearings even under this dire circumstance. His righteous fire was aroused and he thought, “If I leave her with these wicked men then I am a beast myself. What good will it for me even if I survive to reach the top of the Stellar Sanctuary?” 

He hummed coldly as he unsheathed the reverberating Celestial Alice from his scabbard, “Even if I surrender my divine sword to you, there is no promise that you won’t kill me. If I don’t promise you anything then my divine sword will never be truly yours. You really think that I will fall for this mean trick?”

There were a gleam in the eyes of Yun Dingzhong and Old Man Xuantian as they eyed Yi Ping’s divine sword as they thought silently, “This divine sword is really something wondrous!” 

Old Man Xuantian frowned lightly after his ruse had been seen through so he quickly tried another one as he coveted Yi Ping’s divine sword very much, “You can assure that I will surely spare your life. I can promise you an oath.”

Yi Ping replied coldly, “There are fates that are worse than death!” 

Old Man Xuantian was startled as he thought, “How is it that this Yi Ping can seemingly read my mind?”

The Goddess Isa and the Goddess Asura were both startled at how quick witted Yi Ping was as they stole a glance quietly at him…

The truth was that Yi Ping had three excellent mentors in the Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing, Xiao Youxue and Dugu Yunzi who instructed him carefully on the many nefarious methods of the treacherous martial fraternity. 

Lie Qing had said to him, “You really think I will be so wise all the time? Let me tell you, I have my own share of misery failures and betrayals! But all these experiences add to a cumulated experience that will make you wiser and stronger.”

Youxue had also said to him, “Sly upon sly. You have to be trained to be even craftier than your opponents and visualize that you are them.”

Yunzi had also said to him, “Now you are more righteous than most so that is why you may not want to think about it. You have to remove your mental block first. In fact, being able to restraint yourself will make you even stronger and it helps you to fortitude your mind.”

Lie Qing smiled alluringly to him, “So now if you are now faced with this situation of being threatened by your opponent, what will you do? Will you play by his rules or your rules? That is the most important thing.”

Yi Ping said coldly to Old Man Xuantian as he stepped protectively in front of the Goddess Asura, “Or are you a coward that dare not fight with me one to one?“

Old Man Xuantian was immediately aroused with rage as he shouted thunderously, “You are courting for your own doom!”

When he was enraged, he had used exercised his vital energies as he lifted his explosive palms at Yi Ping! 

The Goddess Isa turned ashen as she gasped panicky, “Yi Ping, watch out! This is his Dark Primordial Martial Force!” 

Yi Ping had immediately swung the Celestial Alice, executing the Ultrapowerful Force forward via his sword while sweeping the Goddess Asura off the ground as he carried her on his left shoulder! 

The Goddess Asura gasped softly and she had a stunned look when Yi Ping had grabbed her on her waist! 

Immediately she seemed to be intoxicated by his righteous aura and her whole body turned soft…

In a blink of an eye, Yi Ping and Old Man Xuantian had exchanged a dozen tremendous blows that rocked the vicinity even as they quickly disengaged at the same time!

As Yi Ping scurried backward, he quickly put the Goddess Asura into the embrace of the Goddess Isa as he said solemnly, “Isa, please help me to take care of her for the time being.”

The Goddess Asura looked at Yi Ping enticing as she muttered softly, “Be careful…”

He quickly readied a defensive stance as he eyed Old Man Xuantian!

Old Man Xuantian was dumbfounded even though he was not serious yet; he had only use 30% of his martial power and none of his epitome techniques. It was because in that blink of an eye, Yi Ping had actually escaped unscathed while he had carried the Goddess Asura away right before his very eyes! 

The other two immortal practitioners who were watching by the side were equally dumbfounded as did Yun Dingzhong who seemed to have aroused from his boredom! 

Yi Ping on the other hand had already readied the Forward Heavens Stance and he was inhaling lightly; he had used 70% of his martial power and had already exerted himself even though their exchanges were brief. 

He was a little startled at Old Man Xuantian’s martial prowess. 

He did not know that even the powerful Goddess Asura could only manage only thirty blows against him. 

Old Man Xuantian hummed coldly, “I didn’t know that the Immortal Realm has an immortal of your caliber. I can’t sense your Heaven Eyes Positioning. So you are on the Greater Cosmos Positioning as us now?”

Yi Ping replied coldly, “I have to tell you two things first. Firstly, I am not an immortal. I am only a celestial practitioner who aspires to be an immortal practitioner. Secondly, my Heaven Eyes is the Seventh Cosmos Positioning which is higher than yours. That is why you are unable to sense mine.”

Old Man Xuantian was immediately enraged and his eyes had turned murderous, “Rubbish! I need to tell you three things too. Firstly, no one has ever reached the Seventh Cosmos Positioning before. It is a mystical level that is only heard of but unattainable. Secondly, you are obviously an immortal or else you won’t be able to reach even the Lesser Cosmos Positioning. Thirdly, anyone that plays a fool of me will certainly die in the most horribly manner!”

Yun Dingzhong laughed coldly as he continued to squat on the huge rock, “It seems that Brother Xuantian is now in a bad mood. This Yi Ping is in bad luck today!”

The Goddess Asura turned her extremely pale face around to stare coldly at Old Man Xuantian and Yun Dingzhong as she smiled weakly, “It seems that our two Heavenly Kings aren’t as well informed. The Seventh Cosmos Positioning isn’t entirely unattainable. I am not sure for this hero here but I do know that my matriarch mistress the Goddess Celestial Alice has already attained the Seventh Cosmos Positioning. It seems that our two Heavenly Kings are still struck at the Greater Cosmos Positioning. How unfortunate!”

The Goddess Isa added with a nod, “That is right. I know for sure!”

Immediately the faces of the two Heavenly Kings were flinching lightly!

The Goddess Asura and the Goddess Isa were secretly trying to unsettle the two Heavenly Kings to give Yi Ping as much edge as possible! 

It seemed that Old Man Xuantian suddenly had a gloomy look as heavy malevolent air enveloped the vicinity!

But at the same time Yun Dingzhong had a glow on his face as he suddenly broke into a cold laughter, “Good, good! Brother Xuantian, remember that Alice is mine. It is even better that she has managed to reach the Seventh Cosmos Positioning!”

The Goddess Asura and the Goddess Isa were secretly startled. They simply could not understand why Yun Dingzhong would be so happy?

But Yi Ping knew and he had suddenly turned ashen.

He blurted out in cold sweat as he stared at Yun Dingzhong, “You…are a Dark Immortal…”

Yun Dingzhong looked at him coldly as he helped him to finish by laughing maddening, “That is right. Alice’s heart is mine to feast. After that, I will have attained the Seventh Cosmos Positioning and will no longer be bounded by the sacred laws of the Immortal Realm.” 

Yi Ping had suddenly gone extremely rigid and cold!