A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 25

The Goddess Asura

While Yi Ping was swept away by the torrential waters, he continued to maintain a firm grip on the Goddess Asura’s bottom as he was afraid of her safety. 

It seemed like an eternity of struggling with the torrential waters before they were swept to the side of the river bank.

Yi Ping stood up unsteadily as he inhaled deeply with baffled expressions!

The Goddess Asura was murmuring weakly as she displayed the Thousand Weight Fall again with her internal strength, “Let go…of your dirty hands…from me!”

This time Yi Ping was too exhausted to put up a fight against her as he dropped her to the ground as he collapsed on the rocky bank!

He was perplexed as he murmured weakly, “Why did you suddenly exert your internal strength when we are at the top? You would have got us killed!”

It was because while Yi Ping was talking with the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura had suddenly displayed the Thousand Weight Fall with her subtle internal strength and this had caused her weight to increase tens of manifolds! 

The sudden increase of her weight coupled with his inattention caused him to lose his footings along the narrow mountainous pathway and that was what had caused him to plunge to the treacherous gorge below!

It was a lucky thing that they had landed in the waters and that Yi Ping still had the strength to cushion their fall with his martial force or else it would be disastrous! 

He had never thought that he would survive almost unscathed with the two Heavenly Kings only to almost lose his life to the person that he had just helped!

What was worst was that he had no idea where they were now. It took him much difficulty to get to the fortieth level of the Stellar Sanctuary and what if he was now swept to the lower levels? 

He was really upset with her till he had caught sight of her piteous look and his heart began to soften again.

He could only sigh bitterly as he looked at her speechlessly for an explanation!

If he had not looked then it would be better. It was because he had noticed that she was thoroughly soaked and her figure was extremely revealing so much that his face had completely turned red! 

The peach red Asura stared at him hatefully even as she inhaled weakly, “So you are finally showing your true colors now. Yes! I am trying to get you killed. Do you really think that I will let you possess my body without a fight?”

Yi Ping was stunned, “You have completely misunderstood. I am here to help you. Come with me and we will look for Aiel. She will be able to help us…”

Asura lifted her enticing eyes to stare at him as she said coldly, “I don’t believe you. You are but one of them.”

Yi Ping protested immediately, “I am not one of them for sure. Surely you can’t believe them…”

Asura inhaled with much difficulty before she hummed aloud, “Seeing is believing! If you are not one of them, will they spare you? What about the martial skills of the Martial Emperor Heavenly King and the Ceremonial Saint Sword Heavenly King? You can’t explain it…am I right?”

Yi Ping knew that he could not explain it in short notice so he tried to distract her, “Alice is looking for you. She is with me now. Come with me…”

Asura smiled weakly as she looked away, “If only the Goddess Celestial Alice knows your true character at this very moment. I really pity her. To think that the person that she has been pinning for is actually so despicable and deplorable! If you are with the Goddess Celestial Alice, why is that I don’t see her with you and only Isa?”

Yi Ping stammered, “I am despicable and deplorable? Alice is really with our group. Isa and I heard your screams so we rush to check the vicinity first…”

Asura hummed coldly, “To think that I was almost fooled by your deception. Until now, you are still trying to deceive me? Don’t you know that the Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess Isa have a deep grudge against each other and will never travel together? You don’t even know how to lie…”

Yi Ping was dumbfounded by her repetitious reprimands. He reacted angrily, “Yes, I don’t know how to lie. I am poor in lying. Are you happy now?”

Just as Asura was about to cast him another cold glance, she was startled that he had suddenly stormed towards her. “What are you doing?!”

Yi Ping had lifted her and had carried her on his shoulder as he answered weakly, “It is not safe here. We must find a shelter and warm ourselves first. Then we will think of a plan to rejoin the main group. We will find Alice and she will explain things to you.”

Asura was startled that she was so quickly seized that she muttered with great disdain, “You despicable beast. Let go of me at once. If I can still exercise my martial strength, I will surely kill you…”

She tried to exercise what little of her internal strength to display the Thousand Weight Fall but could not maintain her internal strength flow as she coughed weakly, disrupting her concentration. 

Yi Ping sighed softly at her cold demeanor and was at a loss, “Fine then. I will wait for you to regain your martial strength!”

She was startled as she murmured weakly, “You will surely regret it!”

Yi Ping paused suddenly!

She hummed coldly, “So you are upset now, am I right?”

Yi Ping suddenly said, “I think I see a cave over there and it seems to be quite well hidden. It will be a good place for us to take a shelter and to start a small fire without being spot by our enemies.”

She was momentary startled that he was not even paying any attention to her…

But she soon had a frightening thought that this Yi Ping was bringing her to the cave to violate her. Immediately she began to shiver in cold sweat!

Yi Ping was afraid that she had caught a cold from the icy waters so he quickly prepared a fire once they were in the cave as he thought, “I am protected by my internal strength so I am not afraid of the cold but she is different. Her injuries must not be light. If only Lingfeng or Xingyue is here, their Divine Invigorating Force and Divine Rejuvenate Force may be able to help her.”

Yi Ping had put her in a cozy corner of the cave where she could receive the warmth of the fire without the need to remove her clothing. 

He was actually thinking without looking at her, “Her silken robe is so thin and it will probably dry very soon…”

Asura was a little surprised that he did not try to take advantage of her yet. By now, she was already afflicted by a burning deviation heat that compelled her to seek company. 

But she continued to exercise her powerful will to resist this burning deviation heat as she trembled uncontrollably from both external cold and internal fire…

Yi Ping asked her softly, “Your legs, is it painful. Do you need me to take a look?”

She shot him a look of disgust as she inhaled weakly, “No need to bother you. It will recover soon enough.” 

Yi Ping nodded quietly but all of a sudden he got up and went out for a while. 

When he had returned, he had returned with a full waterskin as he said hesitating to her. “Lady, your cheeks are burning hot. Here is some icy water. Alas, we can only delay the inevitable. I know for sure how potent this type of wicked pill is…”

Asura flashed him a dangerous look that sent a shiver down his spine before she said coldly to him, “Naturally you will know how potent this pill is, because you are already an expert in it. I can tell from the maidens in your group that you have tricked.”

Yi Ping was sighing softly, not knowing how he was going to convince her that he had only good intentions toward her. 

He said miserably, “Take this waterskin. If it is not enough, let me know then I will go out to replenish it.”

Asura smiled bitterly as she continued to tremble, “Until now, you are still trying to humiliate me? You know that the potency of the pill isn’t strong enough to overwhelm me so you are actually thinking of increasing the dosages? Let me tell you, I won’t be fooled by your kind appearance!”

Yi Ping said anxiously as his expressions turned bitter when he had thought of Yang Min who had been afflicted by the Peacock Heresy, “This potent drug isn’t what you think and isn’t something that you can resist through your will alone. Unless you…”

He could not say it loud for he had turned flustered! 

Asura was full of disdain for him but when she saw the bitter expressions in his eyes, her heart began to soften for no reason at all and she found herself saying weakly, “You want to say if I did not copulate with a man, I will surely die?”

Yi Ping looked away as he said firmly, “That is not my intention. If I can get you to Aiel and Alice, they may have a way. You are an immortal so this type of potent drug may be less effective to you…”

Asura smiled weakly, “How do you know? What if this is a potent drug that is from the Immortal Realm and is ten times more potent than the most powerful aphrodisiac drug in the Celestial Realm?”

Yi Ping was stupefied by her question as his body limped coldly and he stared blankly for a while. Indeed, he had never thought of that before. He cursed himself for forgetting that the two Heavenly Kings were from the Immortal Realm…

Asura was perplexed because this Yi Ping did not look like he was putting on an act. While she was constantly on her guard against him and was constantly provoking him, there was really no reason for him to put on an act. The truth was that even if he were to force himself on her, there was nothing she could do to him. She was already cornered and in his hands…

She stole a glance at him as she sighed softly; affections and hatreds seemed to be whirling at the same time in her heart and she was momentarily confused. 

Finally she asked weakly, “Tell me frankly, are you being honest with me?”

Yi Ping replied solemnly, “I swear to the Heavens that I am telling you the truth!”

She smiled bitterly as she inhaled uneasy, “If you are a dark practitioner, then your oaths may well be false. I really don’t know. But…”

All of a sudden she flashed him a cold piercing look, “But if you think that I will be overwhelmed by the aphrodisiac drug and will lose my restraint then you will surely be disappointed!”

Yi Ping asked curiously and the bitter look earlier was replaced by a hopeful look, “How is it so?”

She turned slightly away as she trembled uncontrollably, “I have often experimented with these type of drugs and naturally have already developed some resistances to it. Golden body or not, the hangover effects of this drug will quickly pass. Now that you know, are you disappointed?”

Yi Ping murmured with a delighted relief, “Good, good!”

Asura looked at him curiously and could not find a single falsehood in his expressions. 

She inhaled weakly, “Am I so wrenched and ugly now that you dare not look at me now?”

Yi Ping was startled by her question. 

Even though the Goddess Asura was looking deliriously and her usual porcelain white countenance were colored with red blushes but it had actually added to her enticing beauty. Even when she was weary and was not in the best of condition, it did not affect her mesmerizing overbearing and nor her regal elegance! 

Yi Ping could not help but admired her for her fierce demeanor in protecting her honor. 

At this moment the Goddess Asura was also looking at him as she recalled his heroics earlier…

But eventually she was the first to pull away from him. It was because her heart was trembling fast and she could feel the burning deviation heat that was starting to overwhelm her. 

She gasped silently as her cheeks burned with the secret acceptance, “I am losing myself. Even if he is not a bad person as he has claimed but he is the one that Alice has been pinning for.”

Yi Ping asked panicky when he saw her dazzled look, “Lady Asura, are you alright?”

Asura was suddenly looking at him with an indiscernible fire as her delicate body trembled, “Lady Asura?”

She secretly smiled at the address but said, “Goddess Asura. That is my immortal title. You do well to remember this. You lowly…”

She wanted to call him a lowly celestial practitioner but all of a sudden she had remembered that his martial prowess was actually above her and maybe even his state of divinity…

Yi Ping smiled weakly, “Goddess Asura, are you alright?”

She closed her lids weakly as she asked, “You say that the Goddess Celestial Alice is with you?”

Yi Ping immediately lit up at the mention of Ziyan, “Yes! Not only Alice but Isa, Xiang and Aiel also!”

She said quietly, “Um, you shouldn’t call the Great Goddess by her name you know. And also the other immortals. It is considered rude and disrespectful. Who is Xiang?”

Yi Ping smiled weakly, “Xiang is the maiden name of the Goddess of Mercy.”

She was slightly startled, “You even know her maiden name?”

Yi Ping nodded lightly.

She was soon whispering, “Do you know that the Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess of Mercy had a deep running rivalry with each other and that they will never co-exist with each other? The sectarian divide between the Zen Practitioners and the Arhat Practitioners run deep. As for the Goddess Isa, she resents the Goddess Celestial Alice too…”

Yi Ping said gently to her, “The Goddess Asura does not need to worry unduly. They are fine now and have settled their differences. If you don’t believe me, I can take you to them.”

Asura inhaled weakly as she shook her head lightly with disbelief, “Is that so…”

She lacked the will to argue with him and let it passed instead. 

Another question crossed his mind and that prompted him to ask, “Since you are fine, I am really relieved. I have thought that we will never be able to find you…”

Asura lifted her eyes to look at him and she was immediately flustered, “Find me? Why are you…you looking for me? Have you forgotten that our first meet didn’t actually end up too amicable?”

Yi Ping immediately bowed with his hands as he muttered a soft sign, “Please forgive Lele that day. I know that you didn’t mean us any harm…”

Asura muttered weakly, “Hmph, humph! That is where you are wrong. I…really want to kill her for draining my internal strength.”

Yi Ping said solemnly, “Thank you for being frank with me. Let me make amends to you instead but spare Lele out of this.”

Asura hummed coldly, “Can you made amends for the internal strength that I have painfully cumulated for thousands of years? And how are you going to make amends to it?”

Yi Ping was startled as he began to stammer, “I…”

Indeed he had not thought of that yet! 

A flustering Asura interrupted melancholy, “But on account that you have just saved me from a humiliating end, I will let it go. Isn’t it strange? I haven’t tried to look for you yet but you are already trying to look for me. So Isa and you are spoiling for a fight with me to take advantage of my weaken state and to end my existence first?”

Yi Ping immediately said loudly, “Not at all. We really need your help to give us a fighting chance against the Heavenly Kings.”

Asura smiled weakly, “How do you know that I will surely join your group?”

Yi Ping hesitated for a while before he said firmly, “That is because you are on the side of Alice. If you are on the side of Alice then you will surely be on our side. That is why we want to look for you to add strength to our group but we have really no idea where to look for you. And because we are fearful of being caught up by Yun Dingzhong and Old Man Xuantian, we found ourselves having no other choice but to advance as fast as possible in the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Asura kept quiet as she was still reserving her judgement. 

All of a sudden Yi Ping began to smile weakly, “The last time that we have met is on the eleventh level. Since then we have quickly moved up the Stellar Sanctuary and this is already the fortieth level. How is it possible for you and the two Heavenly Kings to be ahead of us?”

Asura gave him a puzzled look, “I don’t know how quickly is your quickly. But one thing for sure, there are other groups that have already advanced to the higher levels and my progression is already quite slow.”

It was because she was hunting and following the other immortals at the same time! 

Yi Ping was taken aback as he smiled bitterly, “I have thought that we are already far ahead of the others…”

Asura smiled weakly to him, “Your group is so big and not everyone is capable as the Goddess Isa. Naturally you won’t be able to advance as fast as a smaller yet capable party. The Stellar Sanctuary is merciless to a large group. A big group will only increase the dangers and even the powerful won’t be able to take it. Why do you think that the Goddess Celestial Alice and I are acting alone in the Stellar Sanctuary? And did you spend too much time on recuperating and resting?”

She inhaled weakly as she appeared to be amused by his question, “So isn’t it all too obvious? Other than the four hours I have spent meditating each day, the rest of the time I am always on the move.”

Yi Ping was stunned by her reply. It was because she had hit all the crux of his question!

They had indeed spent too much of their time on recuperation and because of the size of their group, they were constantly blogged down by difficult trials. 

He began to smile weakly as he rubbed his nose to ponder. If they want to avoid the Heavenly Kings then they should slow down and not hasten their speed of ascend instead! 

Asura lowered her glance, “Actually I should be the one that is asking you this. I can imagine it is not easy for your group to reach the fortieth level or impossible at all. I guess that quite a few in your group have already perished in the trials and that is why I can only see Isa with you. To be able to reach the fortieth level in such a short time, you must be quite a formidable person…”

All of a sudden Yi Ping was trembling uncontrollably as he clasped tightly the hilt of the Celestial Alice, “No, you are wrong. I am not a formidable person. I wish I am though…”

Asura trembled lightly as she asked matter of fact, “So you desire power?”

Yi Ping shook his head, “No I don’t. I wish that I can be strong enough to protect all my love ones. I want to reach the very top of the Stellar Sanctuary and to obtain the true Immortal Practice for everyone. I want to protect my group all the way to the top!”

Asura said icily, “The immortal practice will be revealed to the enlightened without a need to go to the Stellar Sanctuary. The Dark Chaos Lord has figured out it. If there is a first, there will be a second, third and so forth!”

Yi Ping replied sadly as he thought of his protégé master the Universal Old Man and Lingfeng, “I have no time to wait anymore. By then, it will already be too late!”

Asura hummed coldly, “There are other things at the very top other than the immortal practice. Forget about reaching the very top if you really treasure your love ones. Even the Goddess Celestial Alice is not able to reach the top so what makes you think that you can? Some may say that the Dark Chaos Lord is the first to reach the top but is it the whole truth? Or is it just a beautiful myth?” 

Yi Ping said with a quiet determination, “We have made it this far as a group without losing anyone and I intend to keep it like this all the way. There is no need for you to dissuade me. I know that you mean well. I only hope that you can join us as well.”

Asura was startled as she gasped silently, “Did he really accomplish that? Not losing anyone till now? Is it even possible?”

She began to smile bitterly to herself. It was because even if she was willing to join his group, it was too late to consider now. It was because she was already using the last of her internal strength to suppress the wanton effect of the divine pill that she was forced to swallow.”

Yi Ping extended his hand to her and looked at her earnestly, “Come with us…”

Asura could suddenly feel his emanating heroic aura permeating through her and arousing her spirits, so much that the agonizing wanton urge that she was feeling began to fade temporary and her normal breathing was resumed, “Hmph, humph. I hope that truly comes from your heart.”

She lifted her fingers weakly to his hands as she looked at him with hesitant…

When Yi Ping touched her fingers, he was electrified and was startled at how fiery her fingers were. He panicky gasped, “Are you alright? Let me have a look at your pulses quickly!”

Yi Ping quickly took her pulse and he was perplexed. He had thought that the Goddess Asura had the drug under her control but after examining her erratic pulses, he knew immediately that this was not the case and her present condition was critical!

Asura knew that her lies had been uncovered. She scolded herself silently, “Why did you reach out for his hand for? Are you so easily touched that you can’t think rational now?”

She tried to pull away from Yi Ping but the grip on her right wrist was too firm and her passions were stirred from his touch…

Yi Ping sighed panicky, “Why did you lie. You are obviously not alright at all…”

Asura muttered melancholy as she began to tremble, “You must know that in the Ninth Heavens, I am also known as the Fair Virtuous Goddess. Honor meant everything to me…moreover…”

She began to smile dreamily to herself as she murmured shyly, “The Great Jade Emperor has once made a secret divination for me, telling me that I will be the consort to the future Great God…I only wish to preserve my inviolable chastity only for his coming…but it seems…that day will no longer be fulfilled…”

She began to mutter incoherent, “…do you know that my sister and the Jade Emperor…is actually a pair of ill-fated lovers…” 

But Yi Ping was not paying any attention to her as he panicky transferred his internal strength to her, “Asura, are you feeling much better now?”

Asura was doused by his internal strength and was startled that he was actually transferring his internal strength to her. She immediately looked at him with puffy red eyes as she said melancholy, “You are only needlessly expending your internal strength and prolonging my suffering. You don’t have to do so and should conserve your strength…”

All of a sudden she froze up as she gasped silently, “This soothing internal energy…why does it seem to resemble the Pangu Intricate Energy…”

She stared blankly at him…

Yi Ping said quietly, “Even if I have to expend all my internal strength, I have to get you to Alice and Aiel…”

All of a sudden a loud thunder could be heard and the cave was briefly lit up by the explosive lightning! 

It was quickly followed by the sounds of torrential rains and several more brilliant thunderous lightning!

Yi Ping was not startled by the lightning but he had suddenly noticed that the rain waters were seeping rapidly into the cave!

He flashed to the entrance of the cave and was dismayed to see rising waters everywhere!

They had no way out now!

He panicky returned to the side of the Goddess Asura with a dismay look, “The cave outside is all flooded now. We have no way out now. I have never seen such a bad storm before.”

The Goddess Asura inhaled deeply as she said calmly, “This is the trial of water and lightning. This trial can come without any prior warnings. Woes to those that are caught in the open. This is part of the trials of this level. What luck, we are actually in a shelter.”

She paused briefly to point her fingers at the dark recess of this cave, “Look, this cave seems to have an extension. Maybe if we go deeper into the cave, we will be safe?” 

Yi Ping was startled when he saw that this cave indeed had a passage in its interior. It was because he was too preoccupied to check the cave properly when he had first stepped foot into it to notice it. 

But another problem was now plaguing his heart; all his companions were probably out in the open looking for him…

Asura in the meantime was muttering incoherent to herself, “Even if I have to expend all my internal strength, I have to get you to Alice and Aiel. Does he really mean it…”

She gritted her teeth and was trembling uncontrollably as though a passionate fire had lit within her, causing her to experience excruciating pain in her heart. She was really afraid now and even fearful of what would happen next. It was because she feared she would not be able to resist his heroic air anymore and succumbed to him!