A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary Chapter 58

The Divine Purgatory Fire Formation

Yi Ping sighed with relief as he looked at everyone, “This is the 78th level and we ought to exercise caution.”

All the maidens, the Universal Old Man, the Skylord Jun, the Lord Supreme and the Immortal Saint of Swords were all listening as they entered a towering circular passage with white arching ceiling. 

This circular passage was imposing and if one was not careful, they would miss the cleverly concealed passage ways that were made to look like part of the circular walls. 

Yi Ping said, “There are many passages but which one should we take?”

Mei’Er laughed, “Yes, there are many but we can only pick only one. What a headache to decide!”

Yu’Er smiled, “But no matter, we still have to choose a passage to take.”

Han Lin said, “I see altogether nine passages.”

The Goddess Aiel smiled weakly, “I see only six passages.”

The Universal Old Man smiled weakly, “I can only count five passages.”

Yi Ping rubbed his nose, “I can only see five passages too. Han Lin, your eyes are indeed sharp!”

Youxue smiled, “There are eleven passages altogether.”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa looked intently, “There are eleven passages? I see only ten.”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess muttered, “I see only nine.”

The Heaveness Lingfeng, the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Asura, the Goddess Isa, Lie Qing, the Joyful Goddess Lele, Yunzi, the Goddess of Mercy, the Ascension Goddess Ye Yin and the Fiery Phoenix Xingyue, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Yixian and Yi Si were already recounting as they muttered, “One, two, three, four…”

Yi Ping said, “If Youxue says there are eleven passages then she must be right. Xue’Er, can you point to us all eleven of the passages?”

Lingfeng smiled to him, “Are you thinking of taking the most concealed passage?”

Yi Ping laughed, “Lingfeng, you are right. You are indeed the flurry worm in my stomach!”

Lingfeng muttered unhappily, “Do you have to add the flurry word into that phrase?”

Yi Ping answered, “That is maybe because you seem to be fatter lately?”

Immediately there were a startling flash of brilliant lights as Lingfeng threw three needles at Yi Ping!

Yi Ping immediately blocked the needles with his scabbard with a lightning reflex as the three needles bounced furiously off!

He exclaimed in disbelief, “Lingfeng, are you trying to kill me?”

Lingfeng laughed softly, “You won’t die for sure. At most I only want you to suffer some agonizing pain.”

Lie Qing, Lele, Mei’Er and Yu’Er were all laughing jovially.

Lele said, “Sister Lingfeng, I want to try as well.”

Lie Qing nodded as she smiled enchantingly, winking at Yi Ping to say. “Ping’Er, I still have not slapped you enough.”

Yi Ping smiled weakly as he recalled how he had become a punching bag by almost all the maidens just a day earlier when they had learnt that Yixian and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa had dual celestial with him…

In the meantime Youxue and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa were already counting the visible and invisible passages, “There! Here! And there!”

They soon broke into a smile as they said at the same time to everyone, “We have found a twelfth passage. So do we want to check it out?”

Yi Ping immediately said, “Let’s go!”

And they were soon entered another imposing passage and it soon led into a cavern with steep cliffs, forcing them to walk cautiously along the ledge!

Yi Ping took the lead with Youxue, the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa, Yixian and Lingfeng. 
He said warily as strong icy winds began to pick up force along the ledge, “Be careful.”

Youxue pointed to the dim light ahead, “There is an exit over there. Let’s head for it but it doesn’t seem to be a straight path.”

The Goddess Isa said from behind, “I hope that it will be a combat trial. I am eager to smack something.”

The Goddess Celestial Alice muttered, “Be careful of what you are wishing for. Any combat trial above the 70th floor is not easy.”

The little golden cub in her arms seemed to howl in agreement as well.

The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled, “So you agree with me too?”

The Goddess of Mercy said coolly, “We are at our full strength now. What can go wrong?”

The Universal Old Man, the Lord Supreme, Skylord Jun, the Immortal Saint of Swords and many others secretly smiled bitterly as they thought, “Easy for you to say so…”

It was because the Goddess of Mercy was at the Sixth Immortal Positioning. If anyone would to perish first, it would be those that were weaker than her!

Yi Ping was paying attention to his steps. Not only was this passage was dark, it was also winding. The dim light ahead disappeared and reappeared again as they made new turns. They really had no idea how long is this passage.

Yixian said gently, “Ping’Er, wait.”

At the same time, the Goddess Desolate Goddess Nuwa and the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess had also called out, “There is a celestial formation ahead of us.”

Everyone stopped in their tracks as they looked at their surroundings keenly.

Yi Ping asked, “What type of celestial formation is waiting for us?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa smiled, “We will only know if we are in it but by then, it will be too late.”

Yi Ping said, “If we turn back now, we will have lost a lot of time and the new path may not be easier. Shall we take our chances through this celestial formation?”

Lie Qing smiled, “I don’t mind.”

It was immediately echoed by the rest of the group!

The Fiery Phoenix Xingyue asked, “Ping’Er, what do you think?”

Yi Ping smiled at her, “I think as long as it isn’t like the one on the 60th floor, we will be fine…”

He paused to look at the rest of his group…

Lingfeng knew what was on his mind so she laughed alluringly, “You are worried about the amplifying power of the Stellar Sanctuary.”

Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ye Yin who could all sense the slightness change of emotions very well were all nodding as they glance at each other with split second to show their knowing.

It seemed that the Ascension Goddess Ye Yin was already friends with the Eclipse Heaven Goddess Yu’Er and the Axis Heaven Goddess Mei’Er now! 

The Goddess Celestial Alice, Yixian and Lie Qing were aware of their subtle exchanges but they showed no sign that they were aware of it and their expressions were as composed as ever. 

Yixian was glad that Yu’Er and Mei’Er had found another friend as she thought, “Maiden Ye Yin has a good heart. With her potential, she can surely attain to a much higher level in the future.”

Lie Qing was smiling enchanting as she eyed Yi Ping all the time. Nothing else mattered to her anymore!

Yi Ping was aware of that and he could sense the strong affections that were from her growing day by day. He felt guilty towards her and he began to secretly sigh in his heart, “Why must we embark on this path of divinity? If we are normal mortals then we may all enjoy a blissful life together. But it is no longer possible now…”

He secretly looked at Yixian, Alice, Youxue, Lele, Asura, Isa, Lingfeng and Aiel who were all smiling and chatting jovially with each other…

Yunzi asked, “Ping’Er? Are you alright?”

Lingfeng giggled, “He is always alright. Don’t worry about him. He needs some kicking and slapping to wake up!”

Yi Ping was suddenly sober as he smiled weakly, “We will continue our way then.”

And he was spirited as he started to start broad strides ahead!

Lingfeng whispered to the rest behind his back, “Look at him! He is immediately energized now. He is just a brute with no brains.”

Immediately the group was laughing behind him!

Yi Ping turned around as he rubbed his nose, “And whose idea is this? It is the Heaveness…”

Lingfeng raised her eyes to stare at him, “You! Don’t putting words into my words!”

Yi Ping smiled as he turned around quickly and hastened his steps because he could see Lingfeng marching towards him!

Yixian and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa were watching Yi Ping quietly. It was because they had learnt more about him in one day after they had dual celestial with him than the entire time that they were with him!

They had come to realize that Yi Ping sincerely wanted to protect each and every one in his heart. It was because all these maidens had all occupied an important place in his heart. In many of his battles, they had either helped him or saved him all too many times. He knew that he was powerless to change the order of the fraternity all by himself and he was extremely grateful to all the friends that had aided him. 

Was Yi Ping a lecherous man?

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa had thought so. But she soon realized she had erred. Through the link with Yixian and Yi Ping, she was soon aware that Yi Ping was plagued by the heavy burden of the heart; he really wished that he could protect them or spend time with everyone but he was afraid he would affect their divine practice.

For the first time the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa wished that she had been released from her seal earlier and got to know him even earlier. It was because he was unlike the aloof Great God Pangu that she had known…

“Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa?” It was Yi Si. She had approached with the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess and they were smiling to her.

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa blinked her eyes, “Yes?”

Yi Si said shyly, “Big Sister. Or shall I call you my…”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa sighed softly, “You can still address me as your Big Sister. We can still be the same as before.”

Yi Si leapt forward to hug her as she exclaimed with delight, “Big Sister!”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa patted her, “Good girl!”

Lele folded her arms as she said coldly, “So you have forgotten about your mother?”

Yi Si laughed softly, “Mother, surely you are not so petty. How can your dear Yi Si forgets about you? I think that mother is the one that has forgotten about me!”

Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Han Lin and the Goddess Aiel were all giggling!

Lele coolly stroked her long braided hair as she blinked her eyes to ponder, “Oh really?”

Lie Qing shook her head, “Sometimes I really think that you have forgotten about Sister Xian’Er and I as well.”

Lele replied unhappily, “Sister Luminous Star Qing’Er, I can’t believe that you will say that. Have you forgotten that I am the one that tries to remind you who you are? And who Sister Revelation Star Xian’Er really is?”

Lie Qing laughed softly, “I have never believed in that, you know.”

Lele muttered something incoherently…

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess smiled teasingly, “It seems that the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa has changed quite a bit ever since she has become a consort to this Yi Ping.”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa showed off a shy demeanor, “It is not true at all. Actually he is just my plaything.”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess almost choked when she heard that and so did many of the group!

Even though Yi Ping was in front of the group, he stumbled almost immediately when he had heard the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa calling him her “plaything”!

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa immediately said to him via their dual celestial whisperer, “Don’t be afraid. You are my plaything.”

Yixian had heard it and she was smiling weakly. She quickly whispered via their dual celestial whisperer, “I don’t think that is a good thing to call Ping’Er your plaything. He is our lord now…”

Yi Ping was also secretly whispering, “What a thing to say…”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa sighed softly to them, “That is just a little joke. Can’t the two of you loosen up a little?”

Yi Ping and Yixian immediately stole a glance at each other, expressing surprise that the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa was actually exchanging jokes with everyone!

It seemed that the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa was now enjoying the new attention that she was getting from everyone! 

Yi Ping thought secretly to himself, “And it seems that the joke is at my own expense…”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess sighed softly as she said to the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa, “I wish that the Ancient Heavenly Sage King is my plaything too. He is always so cold towards me.”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa immediately replied, “Good sister, I will help you to make that whatever Ancient Heavenly Sage King your plaything. I promise you!”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess smiled, “Really?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa laughed softly, “I am after all a Great Goddess. Do you think a Great Goddess will not keep her pledge? Even if you want the entire heavens, I can give it to you!”

Yi Ping shivered when he had heard that and he immediately felt pitiful for that Ancient Heavenly Sage King as he turned around to smile bitterly, “Lady Nuwa, I think that you have better restraint yourself or you will let slip of your tongue.”

This time it was the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa who looked a little embarrassed when she realized that she was talking too much in her jovial mood!

The Universal Old Man was muttering incoherently to himself, “I don’t mind being their playthings at all…”

Yi Ping was so distracted by the group that was behind him that he was not focusing on the path ahead and he soon realized that they were surrounded by hot vapors all around him!

And these hot vapors had quickly turned to walls of fires that were spreading all over as the entire passage seemed to have disappeared!

Yi Ping became solemn as he looked at the walls of flames all around them, “It appears that we are now inside a formation.”

Yixian nodded cautiously as she looked intently at the walls of fires and smokes, “And it seems that we are in a fire element formation.”

The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled weakly, “Watch out for your steps or we will be roasted alive. These are the purgatory fires and it will never cease burning.”

The Goddess Aiel said, “I have a really bad feeling now…”

Han Lin had also turned solemn, “Is this the Divine Purgatory Fire Formation?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa smiled weakly, “Indeed.”

Yi Ping could feel the burning heat of the purgatory fires as he looked for a way out of this formation. 

And the burning temperature was rising all the time!

This burning heat was enough to render a normal person unconscious in a short time!

Lie Qing displayed a brilliant flash of sword energy into a wall of fire but it was quickly consumed by it!

She smiled weakly, “I think we are trapped now…”

Lele asked, “So do any of the mighty goddesses know how to get out of this formation?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa, Yixian, the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess of Mercy, the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura and Skylord Jun were all looking at each other for an answer.

The Skylord Jun asked, “So do we have anyone that has the knowledge to overcome this formation?”

The Goddess Isa smiled weakly, “The last formation that I want to practice with was the fire formation.”

The Goddess of Mercy fanned herself with her sleeves as she broke into beads of perspirations, “My weakest formation is the fire formation, most unfortunately.”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa muttered, “Why do you think that I am trapped in a formation for so long?”

The Universal Old Man was looking secretly at the Goddess Aiel and several of the maidens as he muttered, “I don’t mind being trapped here…”

The Goddess Aiel was sweating profusely and her thinly veiled translucent clothing was giving him a good eye view…

Lingfeng gave the Universal Old Man a distrustful eye as she said, “You can stay here if you like but we are leaving here.”

The Universal Old Man tried to laugh it off, “I am just trying to get to know this wondrous formation.”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess asked, “So none of us have any idea?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa asked her, “You don’t have any idea either?”

The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess blinked at her, “I am asking, ain’t I? Aren’t you a Great Goddess?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa smiled weakly, “I guess that we are all in trouble then?”

Youxue asked coolly, “Why are all of you perspiring? Is the fire very hot?”

It was only then that everyone had noticed that Youxue was not affected by the extreme heat of the formation as much as the others. 

Even Yi Ping, the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura, the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess, the Celestial Fairy Yixian and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa who were all eighth positioning ranking immortal practitioners could feel the scorching heat of the fires around them! 

Yi Ping looked at Youxue, “Xue’Er, you don’t feel the heat?”

Youxue smiled weakly, “I can see the fires but I don’t feel that it is hot at all.”

Yi Ping asked curiously, “Why is that so?”

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa smiled all of a sudden, “I know why.”

Yi Ping asked, “You know why?”

Youxue asked curiously as well, “Yes?”

The rest of the group was all curious as well!

The Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa answered, “She has inherited the essence of the Divine Nine Cauldron and has mastered the Divine Icefire Skill. That is why. It takes more than this little fire to even burn her.”

Shen Xingyue smiled coolly, “Is that so?”

Youxue smiled, “Good sister, you don’t seem to be affected too?”

Shen Xingyue raised her Blue Heavens Divine Sword, “I can feel an emanating coolness from my divine sword…it seems to be protecting me…”

The Immortal Saint of Swords said excitingly, “That must be the sanctorum power of the Blue Heavens! The Blue Heavens is created in the coldest reaches of the misty heavens.”

Shen Xingyue replied coolly, “Is that so?”

The Immortal Saint of Swords smiled wearily, “You don’t feel excited that the Blue Heavens has such an innate power?”

Lele muttered as she looked at her Divine Echo and stole a look at Yunzi, “Ping’Er has given us the Sanctorum Relic as well. But I don’t feel anything differently with my divine sword…”

Yunzi smiled, “It takes time to awaken the sanctorum power of your divine sword. Soon you will realize the full awakening of your divine sword.”

Lele asked, “Sister Yunzi, what is your divine sword’s sanctorum power then?”

Yunzi smiled, “I don’t know yet.”

Lele replied softly, “Oh?”

Yi Ping asked curiously, “Xing’Er, why you are not feeling…glad?”

He paused to find words for it when he had suddenly realized that Xingyue had always kept her emotions in check.

Shen Xingyue smiled gently as she gave him a playful wink, “Why should I feel anything?”

Yi Ping was startled because Xingyue was always serious. That sudden wink sent his heart pounding fast! 

Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ye Yin were all laughing jovially behind.

It seemed that Xingyue had been with them for too long and was affected by them!

Just as Yi Ping was about to ask further, Shen Xingyue looked gently to him as she said angelically. “Even though I am not so much affected by the heat but we are all still trapped in a dangerous formation. How can I be glad of anything? Unless we are out of here first, we must maintain our level headed.”

Yi Ping smiled, “Xing’Er, well-said! We should find our way out first!”

The Lord Supreme roared with laughter, “That is right. That is the way the Supreme Celestials of the Holy Ascension Sect are all expected to be.”

Shen Xingyue raised her hands to bow respectfully, “The Fiery Phoenix does not deserve such an undeserving praise!”

The Lord Supreme quickly said solemnly, “Xingyue. Your attainment now has surpassed me. Do you remember the rule of the Holy Ascension Sect? The one with the highest divinity should lead the sect. I have been thinking of handing over the Holy Ascension Sect to you…”

Xingyue was startled as she swept her glances at Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ye Yin, “I am the most junior. I do not deserve it. The Ascension Goddess will be better in upholding the repute of the Holy Ascension Sect and she has the respect of all the practitioners of the sect!”

Ye Yin smiled as she tapped her foot gently, “Sister Xingyue, just accept it. I have too much blood in my hands and my haughty brashness has offended many in the Holy Ascension Sect…”

Xingyue folded her arms into an embrace as she interrupted coolly, “I refuse to!”

The Lord Supreme and Ye Yin were startled.

Xingyue continued before they or any others could ask her for the reason, “That is because I am going to the Immortal Realm next. Even if I can’t go to the Immortal Realm after this, I will continue to cultivate hard. Even if it takes me a thousand years to do so, my mind will not falter!”

She looked at Yi Ping with a melancholy look, “If we don’t perish here then you will surely be elevated to the Immortal Realm. We have come this far to be together and yet we are going to be separated again. This is not the result that I am looking for!”

Y Ping sighed softly as he trembled lightly, “Either is this the result that I am looking for too…”

Lie Qing sighed softly as she muttered, “Same here too. It seems that only Lele, Youxue and Sister Xian’Er will be accompanying Ping’Er to the Immortal Realm, leaving the rest of us here…”

Yi Ping said with trembling voice, “Qing’Er, now that you are an immortal practitioner. It will only be a matter of time before you are able to transcend to the Immortal Realm. No matter how long it takes, we will surely be together again. I will surely wait for you and will always have you in my heart!”

Lie Qing lowered her glances as she whispered melancholy, “Is that so…I hope so…”

Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Ye Yin, Xingyue, Yunzi, Han Lin and Lingfeng were all trembling lightly. It was because Lie Qing had spoken what was in their minds!

Han Lin muttered, “Mistress you are going to leave me alone, am I right? And Yi Ping also…”

The Goddess Aiel heaved a soft sigh, “Han Lin…”

The Goddess Celestial Alice said coolly, “What are you all afraid of? Don’t look at me like this. I know that it is easier to say that as an Immortal but your temporary sufferings are nothing in comparison to the Goddess Isa and even the Great Goddess Fantian.”

All of a sudden Yi Ping asked, “Do you feel there is a soft wind here?”

Ye Yin almost jumped out as she pointed with her finger, “And it is a cool air. Over there!”

Lingfeng said immediately, “If there is wind then there must be an exit! Let’s go!”

The Universal Old Man seemed to be a little disappointed…

The Goddess Celestial Alice and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa exchanged a strange look with each other…