A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 30

The Great Goddess Fantian

The dark passage soon had an opening.

Yi Ping and his group found themselves in a large chamber. At the end of this chamber there were two other passages.

Yi Ping was staring blankly at the two passages as he muttered, “Should I take the passage on my left or my right?”

The two passages were both blanketed by a shimmering blue portal. This indicated that both passages were both a one-way passage and there was no turning back once they were to enter any of the portals. 

His attention was quickly captured by the sight of a large pictogram that was in the middle of these two passages. It was showing a pyramid that was layered by nine lines and on top of the pyramid was a large oval eye. On the left side of the pyramid was a sword while the right side was a shield. 

The rest of the group was also looking at this strange heraldry curiously. 

Alice immediately said, “This pyramid represents the Nine Heavens Realm and the eye that is on top of the pyramid represent our unique Heaven Eye. It is because unless the Heaven Eyes is awakened, no one will be able to enter the Nine Heavens Realm.”

She turned to look at everyone, “The sword represents the passage to the left while the shield represents the passage on the right.”

Asura smiled weakly as she stole a glance at Yi Ping, “Sword or shield. What a hard choice.”

Isa smiled bitterly, “It all depends on our inclination. Do you like sword or shield?”

Lingfeng said coolly, “It can also mean destruction or peace.”

Youxue suggested, “Or death or life.”

Yunzi asked Yi Ping, “Ping’Er, what do you think?”

Yi Ping shook his head, “This is indeed a difficult choice. Even my Heaven Eyes can tell me nothing. I am afraid…”

Yunzi asked, “Afraid? Afraid of?”

Yi Ping sighed softly as he looked at Alice, “What if the choice that we making now will determine the future of the Immortal Realm?”

The Universal Old Man was startled as he looked at Alice, “You mean these two passages will determine the fate of the Immortal Realm? How is it possible?”

Yi Ping muttered, “It is just a wild guess.”

Alice said quietly, “It may not be too far from your supposition.”

The Goddess of Mercy was startled, “I don’t believe that our decision will actually have such a far reaching effect? Then why don’t we split between the two passages?”

Isa groaned, “You call yourself a goddess of the sixth rank. If it is a decision that could decide the fate of the Immortal Realm then only the Great God is able to make the choice and not us!”

The Goddess of Mercy smiled, “But then again, it is just a supposition.”

Lie Qing was impatient as she said, “So which option do we choose? The sword passage or the shield passage?”

Ye Yin, Shen Xingyue, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Lele were all looking at each other as they muttered, “Which one should we choose?”

Aiel and Han Lin were also looking at each other as they wondered! 

All of a sudden Yi Ping asked Lingfeng, “Lingfeng, which one do you think we should choose?”

Lingfeng smiled weakly, “You are asking me a most difficult question.”

Yi Ping asked woefully, “But which do you think is the better choice for us to take?”

Lingfeng said quietly, “If you ask me for my thoughts then I will say that both passages are equally hard to decide. I may think that the sword passage is a combat trial while the shield trial is a defensive formation trial. So we just have to decide whether we want to press on with a combat trial or a defensive formation trial.”

Yi Ping asked her, “You really think that it is so simple?”

Lingfeng looked at him and gave him an alluring smile, “I am thinking too simple or you are thinking too complex?”

Yi Ping smiled weakly, “If the smartest maiden in the group says so, then it must be true then.”

Lingfeng gave him a soft kick when she had noticed that all the maidens reacted slightly when Yi Ping was praising her. She murmured, “You did that on purpose, am I right? If I am wrong, then you have a chance to put me down. Either way, you are so mean!”

Yu’Er and Mei’Er were hugging Lingfeng and they were saying, “Yes! Yi Ping is so mean!”

Yi Ping smiled weakly as he rubbed his nose. 

Asura walked shyly towards him as she asked him gently, “Yi Ping, what do you think?”

Yi Ping looked at her and he began to flush, “I…I think that there is more than meet the eye.”

Asura asked, “Huh?”

Yi Ping walked toward the wall as he touched it, “This sword insignia…I think it represents the Heavenly Tear Sword while this shield represents the practitioner’s righteous shield…”

Lie Qing was also looking curiously at the wall, “Ping’Er, the Heaven Eyes…”

Yi Ping murmured as he exercised the Pangu Intricate Energy to his fingers to touch the Heaven Eyes, “It represents the Way of the Heavens…”

All of a sudden the pictogram disappeared and a shimmering golden portal had replaced it!

Lie Qing was astonished, “So this is the correct portal!”

Everyone was startled because this was the second golden portal that they had seen. What could possibly be beyond this golden portal?

Lie Qing, Shen Xingyue and Ye Yin were looking at Yi Ping quietly. It was because they had suddenly realized that he was the reason that they could make it this far into the Stellar Sanctuary.

The Heaveness Lingfeng smiled wryly to Yi Ping, “How did you know there is a portal beyond this wall? This is not the first time already.”

Yi Ping was stumped, “I just know…I am not sure how to explain this…”

Alice, Asura, Lele, Ye Yin, Yunzi and all the others were secretly looking at each other and exchanging their puzzlements with their glances.

Yi Ping hastily said, “This is the one portal that we must enter. Let’s go in now!”

Lingfeng was startled when Yi Ping had already entered the shimmering golden portal hastily, “Wait a minute. We have not yet fully decided…”

She sighed softly as she too, entered the shimmering golden portal after him. 

Lele quickly gathered her long robe as she called out after Lingfeng and Yi Ping, “Wait for me!”

Alice was startled. She was looking at Yi Ping intently as he had rallied everyone and until he had entered the golden shimmering golden portal.

The Goddess of Mercy Xiang had noticed that she was still standing on the same spot while the others had all hastily entered the golden shimmering golden portal so she asked her, “What is wrong?”

Alice said quietly, “This is the first time that I have felt so lost. It is only today that I have realized how little I know of the Stellar Sanctuary that I am protecting.”

Aiel, Isa, Asura and Han Lin were the last of the group that had not entered the shimmering golden portal and they were all looking at Alice attentively. 

Aiel said shyly, “The only person that we have to understand is only the Great God Yi Ping. Nothing else matters.”

Han Lin giggled, “Why is that I am thinking you are talking sense today?”

Aiel laughed softly as she gave Han Lin a light knock on her head, “Because I am your mistress!”

Isa looked at Asura with a wry smile, “You are so blissful. Not only have you got the heart of the Great God but you have also advanced your Heaven Eyes to the mythical seventh positioning. Even if I am to cultivate for ten thousand years, I will never be able to attain it!”

Asura muttered shyly, “You…”

The Goddess of Mercy Xiang laughed softly, “So enviable. Same here. Not even a hundred thousand years for me. I still can’t understand how Alice is able to attain the seventh positioning on her own. Not even the Heavenly Kings are able to attain the seventh positioning. Alas, if only I have that Mystique Core Divine Pill.”

Alice smiled weakly, “I am afraid even if you have Mystique Core Divine Pill, you won’t be able to attain the seventh positioning.”

Xiang asked, “What do you mean?”

Alice explained, “It is true that the Mystique Core Divine Pill is able to advance the Heaven Eyes but is only to the sixth positioning. To reach the seventh positioning, it requires more than that.”

Xiang asked, “Then how?”

Asura lowered her glance shyly as she touched her belly, “I think it is because I have some of the Pangu Intricate Energy inside me now. That may be the reason why.”

Xiang, Isa, Aiel and Han Lin were looking curiously at the Goddess Asura and at her belly…

Han Lin smiled weakly, “Don’t tell me that you are with…child?”

Asura nodded lightly as her eyes lit up, “It may be a little too early now to know but I can feel it.”

Aiel said sarcastically, “It may not be a good thing. Children born to practitioners in the Celestial Realm and the Immortal Realm will never be able to advance as a divine practitioner. The parents can only watch their children grow old and die or they will be slaves to the divine practitioners. What a tragic fate.”

Asura said firmly as she flushed, “My child will be special. I know it.”

Xiang looked at Alice, “I wonder how Alice manages to attain the seventh positioning then?”

Alice smiled weakly as she recalled the deadly abyssal tribulation that she had to overcome to attain the seventh positioning. At that time, she had given up on living. When the deadly abyssal tribulation had struck, she was already serious injured by the destruction of the Astronomic Stellar Formation. 

She had never expected that she would be able to overcome that deadly abyssal tribulation that resulted in the advancement of her Heavenly Eye to the Seventh Cosmos Position! 

She muttered, “I was lucky enough to survive. How did I manage to reach the Seventh Positioning, I do not know either. But if I know how, I will surely share with everyone.”

All the others were exchanging looks with each other, not sure if they could believe her…

Finally Alice muttered woefully, “I have sacrificed all my attainment for the love that I crave but in the end, everything is in vain. So in the end, I just want to join him…”

Alice quickly sobered up as she smiled, “Let’s go now.”

Han Lin said, “Alright then. Let’s go now. The others are waiting for us.”

Aiel and Isa nodded as they said together, “We should go now.”

Asura panicky said, “Wait!”

Aiel asked, “Yes?”

Asura looked at everyone with pleading eyes, “Can all of you keep it a secret from Yi Ping?”

Isa looked back at her, “If you say so.”

Aiel nodded, “Surely.”

Han Lin smiled, “Yes surely!”

The Goddess of Mercy smiled, “If that is a request from the Goddess Asura, I just have to be accommodating to you then.”

Alice smiled gently, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell Yi Ping unless you say so. So, let’s us go now. The others may be worried if they don’t see us anytime soon.”

Everyone nodded as they entered the shimmering golden portal together.

As they entered through the shimmering portal, a bright light greeted them and in the next instant they were on a wide white pavement overlooking paddies of fields and lakes.

What astonishing were not the breathtaking drifting clouds or the celestial mountains on the horizon but the sight of millions of swords that were thrust in the fields around them and a gigantic floating golden citadel with eight waterfalls flowing down its edge could be seen in the distant horizon!

Han Lin was stunned as she viewed the stunning sight, “Where are we?”

Yi Ping was relieved when he had seen them appearing at the same time. He quickly said, “I was a little worried when there is no sight of any of you…”

Han Lin laughed jovially as she looked around her, “Aren’t we here now? Where are we now?”

Yi Ping nodded with a sigh of relief as he looked at everyone intently. 

Alice muttered as she divined quickly, “Fields of swords. These are swords formations. We must stay on the white path and must never stray from it or we will be attacked by those sword formations. ”

She added, “This place is strange indeed. The presence of the Universal Force is much stronger here than elsewhere. Not even the eighty level of the Stellar Sanctuary can be compared to this level. It is like we are almost at the very top now.”

Yi Ping said aloud, “Let’s us do as Maiden Ziyan has suggested…”

All of a sudden Aiel was gasping as the dark heavenly relic had suddenly departed from her and flew into the fields of swords! 

She was so startled that she cried out, “Hey…”

Yi Ping had jumped out to intercept the dark heavenly relic but it was flying too fast. 

Lingfeng, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Shen Xingyue had also tried to intercept the dark heavenly relic with their secret projectiles but all their attempts were futile!

Aiel was almost in tears when all of a sudden a beaming white sword where the dark heavenly relic had disappeared from view, had flown from that direction and into her hands!

Isa immediately said, “Wonderful! It seems that your heavenly relic has actually reshapes itself into the likeness of one of the swords here!”

Aiel was startled as she held the beaming white sword, “My dark heavenly relic has become a divine sword and her name is…the Esteem Jewel!”

Han Lin teased her, “Mistress, your divine sword actually has a name? I have thought that you will take forever to name it!”

Aiel smiled weakly, “My divine sword reveals her name to me…maybe I should change her name to a better name in the future…”

Immediately the countenance of her divine sword began to fade and it was vibrating lightly. It was as though it was making its protest heard! 

Alice smiled as she appraised the Esteem Jewel that was in Aiel’s hand, “What a beautiful and fine divine sword! This sword has a strong spiritual animus in it. It is indeed a wonderful divine sword!” 

Immediately the countenance of the Esteem Jewel Divine Sword began to lighten! 

Aiel cursed softly, “Good for nothing sword. So you like flattery.” 

The Universal Old Man was also saying, “What a fine divine sword. I can feel its piercing cold energies even from afar!” 

Han Lin tapped the Esteem Jewel lightly and immediately she got a startling electric shock as she backed off, “It hurts!”

Aiel immediately laughed softly, “My divine sword don’t like you, Han Lin!”

Han Lin replied immediately with a cutesy annoyance, “I don’t like your divine sword either!”

Yi Ping said to Aiel with a soft laugh, “I got a good scare just now. Aiel, congratulations. You got a fine divine sword now. It is as beautiful as you, Aiel.”

Aiel was flushing shyly as she asked, “Really…”

Han Lin smiled weakly, “Mistress, so you like flattery too.”

Aiel laughed softly, “Han Lin, are you envious? A pity that you are not as beautiful as me!”

Han Lin hummed coldly, “Really? I say you are not as beautiful as me rather!” 

Aiel was absolutely delightful as she held her new divine sword for everyone to take closer look, “This is my new divine sword, heehee! Is it more powerful than the Green Dragon Sacred Sword?”

Han Lin smiled bitterly, “My Green Dragon Sacred Sword is an immortal sword. Yours is just an ordinary divine sword. There is no way for it to be more powerful than my Green Dragon Sacred Sword. Moreover you have not even divine harmonized with your sword yet!” 

Aiel hummed coldly, “You never know, Han Lin.”

Alice smiled, “This divine sword is birthed within the confines of the Stellar Sanctuary. It may well be an immortal class sword. Until Aiel has divine harmonized with her sword, we can’t tell now.”

Aiel was really elated as she chuckled softly.

Yi Ping was totally mesmerized by her as he watched her intently…

All the other maidens were also admiring the sight of this new divine sword and they were all crowding around Aiel chattily! 

Ye Yin asked, “I wonder what this place is? There are millions of swords here and this is also the birthplace of the Goddess Aiel’s new divine sword…”

All of a sudden everyone froze in place because they could all sense a startling divine presence from the floating citadel and they had all turned their sights toward the floating citadel! 

Immediately they were all stunned because their sharp eyes could make out a blue hair heavenly maiden standing on the fridge of the citadel. And behind her was a gigantic White Tiger Divine Beast! 

This stunning heavenly maiden was also dressed in velvet blue attire and a blue white sword was cladded next to her. The blue white sword was the Heavenly Tear Divine Sword and this stunning heavenly maiden was without doubt the Celestial Fairy!

It seemed that her enticing eyes were full of woes and there was a great sense of melancholy on her as she stood on the edge of the floating citadel… 

While Yi Ping had thought that the White Tiger Divine Beast was familiar but his attention was fully on Yixian. He began to shout loudly with all his martial strength as the vicinity resounded with his martial shockwaves, “Xian’Er! Xian’Er, is that you?!”

Lie Qing and Lele were also calling out loud, “Sister Yixian, please come back!” while Yu’Er and Mei’Er were also calling out, “Protégé mistress!”

Youxue and Yunzi were shouting, “Sister Xian!”

Aiel was muttering, “Ishtar?”

But the stunning heavenly maiden did not seem to notice them. After a while, she began to turn around and disappeared from their view together. This was followed by the White Tiger Divine Beast! 

Yi Ping fell to his knees as he wept, “Xian’Er, Xian’Er! Why did you leave! Don’t you recognize your Ping’Er anymore?!”

Alice said quietly, “She is not your Xian’Er or Ishtar anymore.” 

Asura, Xiang and Isa were also nodding quietly…

Yi Ping looked at Alice melancholy, “That is impossible. She is Xian’Er. I know it is her!”

Asura shook her head, “This divine presence can only mean one thing…”

The Goddess of Mercy had already turned pale as she murmured, “This is the presence of a Divine Being. How is it possible…”

Alice was trembling lightly, “She is a Divine Being from the Eternal Realm…”

Ye Yin asked, “How do you know?”

Alice looked at her quietly, “Only a Divine Being has such a strong divine aura and can command the divine beasts. That White Tiger Divine Beast is one of the four Guardian Divine Beasts. It doesn’t listen to anyone, including the Jade Emperor.”

She muttered, “It is getting more and more mysterious.”

Lie Qing asked her, “What do you mean?”

Alice looked intently at the lofty floating citadel, “If we are able to reach the top of the Stellar Sanctuary then the entrance of the Eternal Realm will thus be revealed to us. It is because the Great God Pangu has left behind his Pangu Intricate Energy for the next Great God. When he inherits the Pangu Intricate Energy, he will also inherit the mantle of the Great God and thus be the ruler of the Three Known Realms. But now…”

She looked blankly at Yi Ping and her fingers were trembling, “There isn’t supposed to be another Divine Being other than the Great God Pangu…”

The Goddess of Mercy said quietly, “But now, we are seeing Yi Ping as the manifestation of the Great God. If there is another practitioner that can reach the top of the Stellar Sanctuary to inherit the Pangu Intricate Energy then there will be two Great God Pangu…”

Isa added, “Not only that. We are seeing a Divine Being and she is the Celestial Fairy. She can’t possibly be Ishtar because she can’t possibly be alive…”

Asura interrupted softly, “No, it is entirely possible.”

Isa and everyone else looked at her curiously.

Asura said, “At the moment she has passed on, it is entire possible that part of her soul has entered the Stellar Sanctuary. Moreover the Goddess Ishtar had sought out the Stellar Sanctuary for a purpose. Surely she is aware of the deadly celestial formations that are in the forbidden grounds of the Goddess Theocracy. Also there is no chance for her to sneak into the forbidden grounds without alerting the Eternal Goddess and the others.”

Aiel stammered, “You mean she entered the forbidden grounds, knowing very well that it was going to be a one way ticket for her?”

Asura nodded quietly as she looked at Alice, “All along, the Goddess Theocracy has surmised that the Goddess Ishtar is acting under the edict of one of the thirty three Heavenly Kings. But now I am not too sure anymore.”

She glanced up at the gigantic floating citadel, “If the Celestial Fairy is a Divine Being then the immortal history that we have all known may not be the entire truth anymore.”

Lingfeng, the Universal Old Man, Ye Yin, Shen Xingyue, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and all the others were all exchanging stunned looks.

Yi Ping asked, “The real immortal history can actually be rewritten?”

Alice smiled gently to Yi Ping, “The immortal history that we have all known is passed to us by the Jade Emperor and the thirty three Heavenly Kings. We are led to believe that it is the Great God Pangu that creates the Three Known Realms…”

She looked at the Goddess of Mercy, “To the Arhat Practitioners, the Great God Fantian is the creator of the Three Known Realms…”

The Goddess of Mercy Xiang muttered with a sudden realization, “This factional divide has existed since the dawn of time between the Immortals. But never once did the Jade Emperor and the Thirty Three Heavenly Kings dispute this.”

Alice nodded gently, “We are not the hasty emotional mortals. It is a little too early to draw upon any conclusions or it will impair our judgements. There is a need to ponder further.”

Yi Ping was looking woefully at the gigantic floating citadel, “No matter what it takes, I must find Xian’Er. She is there for sure. But why she looks like a different person now and don’t recognize her Ping’Er anymore…”

Lele and Lie Qing were also woeful as they looked at the gigantic floating citadel…

Lingfeng was also staring blankly at the floating citadel and at the oasis of swords in this place. It was because she had suddenly remembered seeing this place before. All of a sudden she had a spinning headache as a forgotten memory was stirred in her…

That was a long time ago…

She remembered she was standing naked in this oasis of swords a long time ago. She had asked, “Who am I? Where am I?”

A gentle voice had suddenly said to her, “You are the Heaveness. From now on, this will be your divine name. Your divine gifts will be the Great Emptiness Translucence and the Divine Invigorate Force. Soon you will pass from this boundary to the next.”

She asked again, “Who are you? Are you my creator?”

The gentle voice said, “I merely nurtured you. You are made of the purest essences that are in the Mortal Realm. That is where you will be going.”

She was startled and was afraid, “I don’t want to go anywhere. Take me with you…”

The gentle voice said, “Don’t be afraid. Your destiny as the Heaveness has only just started. As for my destiny, it has just ended. It is a place that you can’t go.”

She asked, “Where are you? I can’t see you…”

The gentle voice replied, “I am here but with your present attainment, you won’t be able to see me.”

She was disappointed and a little sad so she asked again, “So my name is the Heaveness but what is your name?”

The gentle voice did not reply as quickly this time but soon answered, “You won’t be able to remember my name after you pass through the boundary of creation but what does it matter if I tell you my name? You may call me the Great Goddess Fan…”

The gentle voice hesitated for a while before answering, “Fan…Tian…”

The Heaveness muttered, “Great Goddess Fantian…”

There was a bright light and everything had gone dark in the next instant! 

Lingfeng woke up from her stupor and the next thing she had heard was Yi Ping’s voice as he said with a firm conviction to everyone, “We can’t possibly fly to that floating citadel but I am sure that this white pavement that is ahead of us will give us clues to get to the floating citadel above. Xian’Er, we are coming! You must wait for us! Let’s go…”

An earthshaking tremor had suddenly struck the entire vicinity, followed by nonstop shockwaves! 

Yi Ping asked panicky as he steadied himself, “What is going on?”

All of a sudden, the gigantic floating citadel began to fade slowly and so did the landscape that was in front of him! 

Everyone was stunned!

Alice immediately warned, “This entire place is a powerful illusional formation and it seems that it is vanishing soon! Stay where you are!”

Yi Ping was in shock as he called out panicky, “Xian’Er! Xian’Er!”

He tried to charge forward but no sooner had he taken a few steps, he was struck by millions of swords from the surrounding fields!

Even though the swords had passed harmlessly through him but the agonizing pain was no different from the real experience! 

Alice, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and all the rest were shocked as they called after him, “Yi Ping, back off immediately!” 

As Yi Ping collapsed onto his knees, he coughed a bout of blood. 

At the same time, the earlier landscape had disappeared and it was replaced by imposing steep cliffs all around them!

There was no sight of the gigantic floating citadel everywhere…

Lingfeng, Lele, Lie Qing, Youxue, Yunzi, Yu’Er and Mei’Er panicky surrounded Yi Ping as they lifted him up anxiously, “Ping’Er, are you alright?”

Yi Ping was trembling and he was weeping, “Xian’Er! I am so useless! I can’t even break the illusional formation!” 

Lingfeng muttered, “Ping’Er, there is something I want to tell you…”

Isa said as she pointed at the black characters that were on the side of an imposing cliff that was near them, “We are on the forty-eight level of the Stellar Sanctuary now and is no longer in the X level…”

When Yi Ping had heard her, he was even more woeful as he clenched his fists. “Can someone please tell me how can I return to that earlier level…”

Alice looked at him before saying, “I know how.”

Yi Ping was stunned as he quickly looked staggered to her, “Maiden Ziyan, please gives me your guidance!”

Alice replied gently, “If I am not wrong then what we are seeing is just a manifestation of the highest level of the Stellar Sanctuary. If we want to reach that floating citadel then we must continue to strive for the top.”

Yi Ping murmured blankly, “The top of the Stellar Sanctuary…”

All of a sudden his hope was renewed. 

He vowed quietly, “Xian’Er, I know where you are now. I will surely free you. Wait for me please…”

He asked Alice, “If that place is the top of the Stellar Sanctuary, how is it that we are able to get there? And why is Xian’Er at that citadel?”

Alice shook her head, “I am sorry. I have no real answers now.”

Lele was cursing her softly, “It is all my fault. I shouldn’t have barged into that golden portal in the first place…”

Lie Qing tapped her lightly, “Sister, don’t be upset. You can’t predict it.”

Yi Ping embraced Lele and Lie Qing as he coughed weakly, “No, it is my fault! If Xian’Er is at the top of the Stellar Sanctuary then I will use whatever it takes to reach there.”

Lie Qing rubbed Yi Ping’s chest as she asked softly, “Are you alright? I got a great fright just now when all that swords went through you earlier. Luckily those are only illusions.”

Yi Ping muttered, “Qing’Er, I am alright…”

All of a sudden there was a minor shockwave as an explosion rocked the vicinity. 

Yi Ping quickly composed himself, “There is a fight somewhere near us?”

Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Ye Yin and Yunzi had turned ashen immediately!

Yunzi quickly said, “I have no doubt that this is the sword energies shockwave of the Ley Negative Sword Energies. My protégé master, the Immortal Saint of Swords is in this vicinity!”

Yu’Er said panicky, “I can feel the Supreme Martial Force of my father the Lord Supreme. He is also in this vicinity. Ping’Er, can we take a look?”

Mei’Er was also pleading panicky, “Master Yi Ping, my father may needs our help…”

Yi Ping replied without hesitation, “Let’s go!”