A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 29

Level X

Lie Qing said to Yi Ping, “I saw Sister Xian’Er walking through the portal right after you, Ping’Er…”

Shen Xingyue was perplexed as she looked woefully at Yi Ping, “I saw too. She has gone right after you because she was worried for the rest that have already gone into the portal.”

Yi Ping was trembling and he felt like a broken person now, “But where is Xian’Er now. Where is she…”

He turned to Alice to ask her, “Maiden Ziyan, do you know?”

The Goddess Celestial Alice was equally baffled. She replied while moving with her fingers rapidly as she determined a divination, “If we all move at the same time into the golden portal then the destination outcome will all be the same but clearly, that conclusion is now invalid because the Celestial Fairy isn’t here now.”

Lele was tearful as she held her mouth, “Sister Xian’Er where are you…”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er were equally woeful and were at a loss! 

Youxue said coldly, “That accursed golden portal! Lele, why did you enter the portal so quickly?”

Lele lowered her glance and did not say a word. It was because she had totally lost her mood to say anything! 

Yunzi held Youxue’s arm, “Xue’Er, it is not Lele’s fault…”

Youxue looked away and her eyes were red!

It was because Youxue and Yixian were one-time rivals who had over the time, become extremely close to each other and Yixian had even imparted to her the complete Icy Heavenly Tears, even painstakingly aided her to merge the Icy Heavenly Tears and the Invincible Divine Force as one! 

The Goddess Aiel was equally upset. It was because she knew that Yixian was the incarnation of the Goddess Ishtar as the mark on her forehead was only unique to her. In the past, they were really close to each other…

All of a sudden Isa said, “I have an uneasy feeling about this place.”

Asura nodded uneasily, “Same here. Having been to the Stellar Sanctuary on numerous times, this is the first time that I have never seen an X level.”

The Heaveness Lingfeng tapped Yi Ping’s gently, “Yi Ping, are you alright?”

Yi Ping was still staring blankly in the thin air as he muttered, “I am alright but is Xian’Er alright? She is still not here yet…”

Lingfeng asked him, “So you want to wait here for her?”

Yi Ping asked her, “What else can I do?”

Lingfeng said quietly, “What if there is a minor glitch with the portal that we have just taken? This sort of things may just happen. If so, Sister Xian’Er may be teleported to another part of this passage. If we do not find her soon enough, she may be in grave danger!”

Yi Ping was startled as he began to take wobbly steps forward, “Lingfeng! You may be right! Let’s us go and search for Xian’Er now. She must still be somewhere here…”

Everyone could see that Yi Ping’s was beaming with tears and could see that the sudden disappearance of Yixian had affected him badly. 

Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Shen Xingyue and Lie Qing tapped him slightly to comfort him.

Shen Xingyue looked at him gently, “Ping’Er, we will surely find Sister Xian’Er. Alright?”

Yi Ping raised his hands to hold her shoulder as he trembled uncontrollably, “Xingyue, I am so sorry to you!”

Quite a few were startled and were curious; why did Yi Ping apologize to Xingyue out of the blue?

Shen Xingyue smiled gently as she comforted him, “I don’t mind. You are right to show your concern for her.”

Lingfeng took a quiet look and understood immediately.

It was because Shen Xingyue was the fiancée of the White Sage in the past. They were really an ill-fated couple. Later the White Sage had a chance meeting with the Heaveness who took him in and imparted to him the celestial practice. It was later that the White Sage had a chance meeting with Revelation Star who was the Celestial Fairy Yixian’s previous incarnation. 

Then the Great Descendant struck, creating such an upheaval that many of the celestial clans were destroyed and many more celestial practitioners had lost their lives. In the end, Revelation Star was so grieved that she could not bear to look upon the White Sage.

She did not know that the White Sage was equally grieved at the loss of so many of his fellow celestial protégés, friends and companions. 

She did not know that she was the reason why the White Sage had endured the unbearable loneliness and did not ascend to the Celestial Realm!

She did not know that once she had made the fateful decision to sacrifice herself for the incomplete celestial formation so as to attempt a destiny for her sisters and her to be together in another time, she had unwittingly broken the heart of the White Sage! 

She did not know that the parting words that she had left behind for her sisters would one day be heard by the future incarnation of the White Sage, who was Yi Ping!

“Heaven Wrath had descended upon the three realms. My transcendent had been interrupted not by the Divine Crisis but by the most terrible of all the calamities, the Dark Malevolent Star Crisis. In that crisis, all three realms were given acquiescence to destroy in order to transcend. It was a crisis that was so woeful that many celestials were slew including my two celestial sisters, Luminous Star and Melody Star.”

“Even though I had a thousand years of divinity and had created a formidable star formation, I was not able to overcome the Divine Crisis. The Ascend failed because the deaths of my sisters had a lasting impact on my attainment and my end was near. In my final moments, my heart still reaches out for my sisters and was not regretful that I did not succeed in my investiture. Even if I take another thousand years, I will do so.”

In the end, it was the White Sage that had helped her to complete the celestial formation by sacrificing his divinity into it. 

It was because when Revelation Star was no longer around, the White Sage had lost all will to live as well! 

He had finally realized that the highest divinity in the Three Known Realms was the encompassing unifying love! 

It was a pity that till today Revelation Star did not know about it. 

At the White Sage’s final heartbreaking moments, he had prayed earnestly and with great melancholy, “If I have a next life again, I want to do everything right the next time. What must I do to move the Heavens and the Earth? What must I do so that Heavens will bestow upon me such a chance again? Even if the Heavens turn me into a fool, I am willing to do so! I will rather be a blissful fool than a wise man who thought that he is the smartest and wisest person but he is actually the biggest fool!”

Lingfeng had taken a look into his heart through the Great Emptiness Translucence previously. She saw that Yi Ping’s heart was filled with many fond memories of the Celestial Fairy even though they were only together for only a brief time. 

Right from the start, Yi Ping and Yixian seemed to be drawn together even though they were from two totally different backgrounds. He was so down and poor while she was so noble and forbidden. His martial skills were so bad at the start that he could have easily died many times over while the Celestial Fairy was the top expert exponent of the martial fraternity. 

Also the Celestial Fairy had no lack of suitors who admired her in the past. With her heavenly beauty, graceful leaning and profound learning, she was like the goddess of the martial fraternity. If she was not such a reclusive practitioner, she would have swept and charmed half the martial fraternity without a need to lift her fingers! 

The only reason why she was single was that she allowed no one that dared to intrude upon the forbidden grounds of the Eternal Ice Palace to leave alive. 

That they could come together and had even become a couple was nothing short of a miracle! 

But even as a couple, their journey had been very difficult. There were many times that they had come close to losing each other. 

Lingfeng sighed softly in her heart, “How many more times must they face the tribulations of separation before they can lead a blissful life together?” 

She had actually divined that they had to face a total of seven major tribulations before they could overcome their ill-fated destiny to be together. Whether they could overcome it depends on their will and luck. Even the most ill-fated had only a total of three major tribulations. But they were different. It was because they had attempted to change their destinies and had incurred the wrath of the Heavens! 

The very reasons why she was able to divine their fates was because her own fate was intertwined with them!

She could only secretly prayed that they would be able to find Yixian as soon as possible!

Yi Ping was still bewildered and he was still reluctant to move away. 

Everyone was looking at him for leadership and no one dared to make the first move. 

The Goddess Celestial Alice had just finished divining with her fingers and she had turned to say to Yi Ping, “At first I cannot divine the whereabouts of the Celestial Fairy. So I try to divine the whereabouts of the Goddess Ishtar and to my astonishment, the divination actually offer a clue that she may be here. We just need to find a way to the epicenter of this level and we can find her.”

Yi Ping was startled and his eyes had become alive again, “She is here?”

The Goddess Celestial Alice replied gently, “Affirmative.”

The Goddess Asura was also divining with her fingers rapidly, “The Eternal Goddess is right. I can’t divine the whereabouts of the Celestial Fairy either but when I try to divine for Ishtar, there is actually a result…”

The Goddess Isa and Goddess Aiel were also saying at the same time, “We have reached exactly the same conclusion as well.”

Yi Ping was elated and was about to rally everyone to be on the move again when he noticed Alice’s uneasy expression. He asked her, “Maiden Ziyan, what is wrong?”

Alice felt compelled to answer him as she shook her gently, “I am not sure what this divination means.”

Yi Ping was startled, “You are unsure?”

Alice nodded, “Why is it that we are unable to divine the Celestial Fairy but we are able to divine the whereabouts of the Goddess Ishtar?”

Yi Ping looked at her blankly when he had suddenly realized her hint!

He turned to look at Isa, Aiel and Asura; they were all nodding lightly to him and they all had the same realizations as well!

Alice spelt it out for the benefit of everyone, “The Goddess Ishtar, she had passed on a long time ago so it is not possible for anyone to divine her whereabouts.”

All of a sudden, Alice, Isa, Xiang and Aiel were exchanging buzz talk with each other so rapidly that it was impossible to understand or follow their conversations!

Yi Ping was stunned at their rapid nonstop conversations and he could only pick up a few details. The same happened to the rest of the group as well!

He thought, “Is that the way the Immortals speak to each other? It is so fast and almost incomprehensible. I can hardly follow their conversations at all…”

Aiel covered her mouth as she gasped, “But we are able to divine the Goddess Ishtar now. Does that mean that she is…”

Alice shook her head as she muttered, “I do not know.”

Isa said coolly, “While all of you are discussing, I have made another divination on the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword. I am affirmative that that the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword is on this floor as well…”

Alice immediately knew what she was driving at and quickly divined with her fingers, “If the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword is on this level, then the Celestial Fairy has to be on this level as well. And the result of the divination indicates that the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword is now in the hands of a Goddess…”

The Goddess of Mercy asked, “Right and if an immortal sword such as the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword did indeed change hands, there will be a sign. But yet there are no signs. Therefore the Celestial Fairy is still in possession of the Icy Heavenly Divine Sword.”

Aiel muttered, “If the Celestial Fairy is still in possession of the Icy Heavenly Divine Sword and the Goddess Ishtar is also in possession of the Icy Heavenly Divine Sword as well…”

Asura added coolly, “Then the Goddess Ishtar and the Celestial Fairy are actually one and the same.”

Isa snapped her fingers, “That is right.”

Aiel muttered, “But how? How is it possible?”

They had all immediately fallen into silence as they entered a brooding trance to ponder…

Yi Ping could not resist interrupting, “This Goddess Ishtar, she is the previous incarnation of Yixian?”

Lele immediately corrected Yi Ping with woeful eyes, “The previous previous…where is my dearest sister. I really hope nothing happens to her.”

Lie Qing was also looking extremely woeful and at a complete loss. 

Aiel replied, “Yes, you can suppose so.”

Yi Ping suddenly felt like knowing everything about the Goddess Ishtar. So he asked solemnly, “What exactly has happened in the past? Something happens to the Goddess Ishtar?”

Aiel looked at Alice and Asura woefully, unsure whether to reply or not. It seemed that it was a touchy issue. 

Alice inhaled softly before looking at Yi Ping, “I have sentenced the Goddess Ishtar to be voided out of the Three Known Realms for transgressing the sacred laws of the Goddess Theocracy.”

Yi Ping was startled, “Voided out…”

Alice replied coolly, “She is sentenced to death, in short.”

Yi Ping was stunned as he took a step back, “You…what? Why did you do that for? You can imprison her but to take her life…”

Alice interrupted coldly, “She has transgressed the most holy of holies laws of the Goddess Theocracy. That is why.”

Yi Ping clenched his fists as he asked coldly, “What holy of holies laws of the Goddess Theocracy that she had transgressed? And why is that it cannot be pardon?”

It was obvious that he was irked by it and it shown on his brooding expressions. It was because given the long life of an immortal, a death sentence appeared to be too appalling for him!

Lingfeng, Shen Xingyue, Ye Yin, Yu’Er and Mei’Er were all thinking at the same time, “Yi Ping, do you know who she is? She is not only just a Goddess of the immortal realm but she is also the patron goddess of the entire Pangu and Human Race. You ought to be respectful to her…”

Alice did not seem to mind. Instead she continued to look at Yi Ping gently before answering him, “She had entered the forbidden ground of the Goddess Theocracy and attempt to steal the artifact core of the Stellar Sanctuary. That is her transgression.”

Yi Ping was shocked as he muttered woefully, “You can imprison her. But there is no need to be overly harsh.”

Aiel tapped Yi Ping gently on his arm, “Don’t be hasty to blame the Goddess Celestial Alice first. Ishtar was already dying when we found her. When we try to ask her for the reasons to the transgression, she refused to answer us.”

Yi Ping asked, “So if Ishtar isn’t dying, then the Goddess Theocracy will still void her out of the Three Realms?”

Alice replied nonchalantly, “Yes I will. No one has any business entering the forbidden grounds of the Goddess Theocracy.”

Yi Ping smiled bitterly.

Asura said, “Yi Ping, you must know that the artifact core of the Stellar Sanctuary is the heritage artifact of the Goddess Theocracy and is heavily ward by several powerful defensive formations. It is no wonder that Ishtar did not survive…”

Isa suddenly said, “No Asura. She did survive the attempt.”

Asura asked, “What do you mean?”

Isa said thoughtfully as she looked at Asura and Yi Ping at the same time, “She did survive. Or else this level X in the Stellar Sanctuary will not exist, am I right? But for whatever reasons, we do not know and she did not want to tell us.”

The Goddess of Mercy asked her, “You are saying that the Goddess Ishtar is actually the one that creates this level? How is it possible? The Stellar Sanctuary is a remnant from the Great God Pangu. Lesser immortals to the Great God Pangu certainly do not have the powers to alter the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Alice said, “Whatever it is, we will soon find out. Aiel, tell us what you know. You are closest to Ishtar.”

Aiel began to smile weakly, “I have thought that we are as close as sisters. But on that fateful day, only did I know how little I know about her.”

Han Lin asked curiously, “Mistress, what do you mean?”

Aiel answered with a bitter smile, “Only those who are in the Greater Cosmos Positioning are able to enter the Ninth Heavens which is also the highest realm level of the Nine Heavens Realm. I have always thought that her level of attainment is only at the Lesser Heaven Positioning and I have never thought that she would be capable of hiding her true immortal attainment from all of us.”

Alice lowered her glance before she said quietly, “That is what has been bothering me as well.”

Yi Ping was suddenly looking curiously at the other side of the passage. He felt that something beyond the passage was beckoning to him. 

A gentle whisper was heard in his ears and unmistakably it was Yixian’s voice, “Yi Ping, come to me…”

Lingfeng asked him, “Yi Ping, what is wrong?”

All of a sudden Yi Ping said loudly, “Follow me quick! I can feel that it is Xian’Er. She is over there! I have also heard her voice!”

Lingfeng was perplexed and so was everyone. 

Yu’Er asked, “Master? You have heard protégé mistress’s voice, really? But your Yu’Er didn’t hear anything…”

Mei’Er stammered, “Me too…”

But Yi Ping was already running hastily to the front!

Shen Xingyue, Ye Yin, Yunzi and Asura all said at the same time, “Let’s go!”

Isa said, “We are struck here anyway. Let’s go!”

The Universal Old Man was muttering weakly, “I really got a very bad feeling this time…”