A Martial Odyssey Book 3: The Stellar Sanctuary – Chapter 6

The Universal Harmonic Chain

As soon as the Goddess Isa walked through the archway and into the interior passageway, she gently pulled Yi Ping to her as she said firmly, “Lucky! Yun Dingzhong who we call the Great Ascetic Heavenly King is a formidable immortal fighter. He is renowned for his Mayhem Divine Force. His epitome techniques are the Absolute Endless Mayhem, Divine Scattering Impact and the Triple Trinity Invocations. His Mayhem Divine Force is one of the strongest martial forces in the Immortal Realm and not to be underestimated. In fact none of the seven Heavenly Kings are weak and they are the inventors of their own unique skills…”

Yi Ping was startled when the Goddess Isa had suddenly analyzed the wizened old man’s martial skills. 

“His Divine Scattering Impact is his fingers skill. It is able to puncture a hole through steel from three feet away and injure within ten feet away! Combined with his Mayhem Divine Force, the Divine Scattering Impact is a martial power stance that can grind even a solid rock to dust in a hit. The Triple Trinity Invocation is his absolute heart intricacy skill that can further triple his attacking powers hence its name!”

Everyone was gasping in disbelief; it was because martial power was something that was extremely difficult to increase. A person may double his effort but there would only be slight improvement. While there were many types of intricacy heart formulas that could empower the practitioner and given classifications such as Divine Epitome, Superior Epitome and First Rate Epitome, none could double a practitioner’s martial power! 

Yi Ping knew the reason all too well!

It was because all the martial power within a martial practitioner was inherent and that heart intricacy formulas could only help so much. Much of it still had to depend on the willpower and internal strength cultivation of the practitioner. 

Even Yixian was shocked when she had just heard the Goddess Isa, “Then he is really unstoppable. Even my Absolute Defense Stance may not be able to stop a hit from him. What is stopping him from attacking us?”

The Goddess of Mercy explained causally, “That is because he has no confident of overcoming us either!”

Yi Ping was startled, “We have a chance of overcoming him?”

The Goddess of Mercy nodded as she looked at everyone, “That is right but half of us will surely perish!”

She said it matter of fact!

Yi Ping began to shudder slightly when he had heard it!

The price was too heavy!

Jing’Er looked melancholy at the ground. It was because she knew that she would be among the perished!

Shi Shi comforted her by tapping gently on her shoulder, “I guess I will be in the list as well!”

Yang Min laughed softly, “The same goes for me too!”

Yi Ping quickly said, “As long as I am here, I won’t allow anyone to hurt anyone of you!”

The Goddess Isa smiled gently at his kind gesture but she soon become solemn, “The Goddess of Mercy is too generous with her estimates. It is highly likely that only just two or three of us will survive. Or none at all.”

Everyone turned pale at this proclamation!

It was because she really did not look like she was joking with them!

The Goddess Isa added coolly, “That is because none of you have ever fought with a first generation immortal before. Naturally you won’t know how dangerous they can be whether or not they have a divine weapon or not. Whether we have any divine weapons or immortal weapons do not mean anything to them either!”

She sighed softly, “I have never expected that we will encounter one of the Heavenly Kings today. I have always thought that they are all gone…”

The Goddess of Mercy added melancholy, “Same here. It seems that more than one has actually survived…”

Yi Ping asked, “Who are they? Are they formidable?”

The Goddess Aiel smiled weakly before saying, “Extremely formidable and dangerous!” 

The Goddess of Mercy sighed softly, “The full immortal name of the Jade Emperor is the Jade Emperor of the Thirty Three Heavens. The Thirty Three Heavens refer to the thirty three first generation immortals. Just how formidable are the first generation immortals? Without revealing the strength of their Heaven Eyes, all their martial strength is at least in the Lesser Cosmos Position! That is how formidable they are!”

The Goddess Isa nodded as she said quietly, “Not only that. As first generation immortals, the Universal Force is also stronger in their blood than the second generation immortals…”

“The Universal Force?!”

Lingfeng, the Universal Old Man, Ye Yin and many others were gasping with shock!

It was because the Universal Force was said to be the strongest force in the Universe and only the true immortal weapons were said to contain vestiges of this mysterious force! 

The Goddess Isa smiled weakly. She immediately knew what they were all thinking about as she said, “The Celestial Force, the Mayhem Divine Force and all the various divine forces that exist in the Three Known Realms are all variations of the Universal Force. But because the first generation immortals are closest to the Universal Force, they are extremely powerful. And the differences between the first and second generation immortals are vast indeed!”

The Goddess of Mercy nodded, “Indeed! The weakest of the first generation immortal is more than a match than the strongest second generation immortal!”

While the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess Isa were explaining, Yi Ping was silently muttering to himself. “The Mayhem Divine Force…it is quite similar to my Absolute Equilibrium Force. The force is perfectly balanced but at the same time I can also feel a powerful chaotic force that seemingly burst out…if I encounter him again, can I overcome him?”

The Goddess Isa nodded, “And the Heavenly Kings are the top practitioners of these thirty three first generation practitioners!” 

Old Venerable Vanquisher Sage smiled weakly as he interrupted, “And now our opponent is one of the Heavenly Kings. I can well imagine how earthshaking the first immortal war is in the past between the first and second generation practitioners!”

Yi Ping was thinking of the same thing too. Just how vast was the difference between the first generation and the second generation immortals? 

He began to look at the Goddess Isa…

He began to recall that the first time when the Goddess Isa had appeared, she had actually dared to confront the thousands of celestial practitioners without fear. If she represented the first generation immortals then the celestial practitioners were the second generation immortals!

The Goddess Isa laughed softly, “Not entirely true. Do you think we will dare to revolt against the Jade Emperor if the first generation immortals are united?”

Old Venerable Vanquisher Sage was startled, “Huh?”

The Goddess Isa said nonchalantly, “The second generation immortals are not the prime movers in the first immortal war. Two third of the first generation immortals actually opposed the Jade Emperor. Eventually the conflict embroiled the second generation immortals who were forced to take between the two sides.”

“That immortal war lasted for a long time and shook the entire Nine Heavens. When it had ended, it ended just as sudden. It was said that all the surviving first generation immortals decided to battle it out in a final battle. When it had ended, all the first generation immortals could not be found including the Jade Emperor!”

The Universal Old Man muttered, “Alas, I can only imagine the ferocity of that battle!”

The Goddess Isa looked at Lele quietly, “But now, I have reasons to believe that the Jade Emperor is still alive!”

Lele yawned softly as she took a glance at Yi Ping…

At the same time the Goddess Isa had noticed that Yi Ping was staring blankly at her! 

The Goddess Isa became extremely solemn as she called out slowly, “Yi Ping…”

“Yi Ping?”

Yi Ping was suddenly startled as he quickly replied, “Yes?”

The Goddess Isa groaned softly, “Are you paying attention to what I am saying? I am really serious!”

Yi Ping smiled weakly, “Of course I am paying attention…”

The Goddess Isa probed, “Really? Then why are you staring at me like that earlier?”

Yi Ping was stunned by her question as he looked at her blankly for a while…

Lingfeng hummed coldly, “He is nothing but a lecherous fellow! He does nothing all day except staring at maidens.”

Yi Ping immediately became flustered as he protested, “Lingfeng, that is not true…”

Lele muttered as she pointed at the Universal Old Man, “That is because his protégé master is also like that!”

The Universal Old Man immediately protested, “That is not true…”

Lady Winter Plum laughed softly, “Oh really?”

The Universal Old Man was a little startled that Lady Winter Plum was talking to him but he quickly composed himself to say, “Of course! You must know that I am a highly attained celestial practitioner. I am above all worldly desires!”

The Goddess Aiel almost choked when she had heard that as she began to cough several times!

Lie Qing raised her eyebrows, “You dare to peek at us when we are bathing. How dare you! I haven’t settled that score with you yet. What highly attained celestial practitioner?!”

Lady Winter Plum was shocked as she stammered, “You are a peeking tom?!”

The Universal Old Man had suddenly become extremely flustered as he stammered, “No, that is not true. That is an accident…”

The Goddess Aiel was also questioning him, “You did what?”

The Universal Old Man broke into cold sweat as he shifted his eyes anxiously, “Ai, that is not true…don’t listen to them…”

Lingfeng hummed coldly, “There are at least half a dozen eye witnesses. Do you think we will all frame you? Lecherous protégé master and protégé!”

Yi Ping was also having a deep flush as he protested, “Lingfeng…”

Mei’Er was laughing jovially, “Lecherous Ping’Er!”

Yi Ping heaved a soft sigh, “Not you, Mei’Er…”

Yu’Er laughed jovially too, “What’s wrong, our master? Are you shy? Or dare not admit it?”

All of a sudden there was a cold air from the Goddess Isa as she said coldly, “Yi Ping! You…!”

Yi Ping decided to keep quiet after seeing there was no other way to protest his innocent! 

All of a sudden the Goddess Isa said solemnly, “Yi Ping…Lele, Aiel, Maiden Yixian…”

Yi Ping, Lele, the Goddess Aiel and Yixian looked curiously at her…

The Goddess Isa looked at Yu’Er and Mei’Er, “And Maiden Yu’Er, Maiden Mei’Er…”

Yu’Er looked at the Goddess Isa, “Yes?”

The Goddess Isa continued, “And Lady Gusu…”

Lady Gusu was of course the Goddess of Mercy. 

The Goddess of Mercy was slightly startled that she would be addressing her so politely…

“And the Heaveness Lingfeng…”

The Goddess Isa said solemnly, “We are facing formidable foes that have no equal in the Immortal Realm. Even though not all of you are immortal practitioners yet but at the very least, your Heaven Eyes will at least give you a higher fighting chance than the others. But I only ask that the eight of you will delay the likes of Yun Dingzhong for a while so that the rest of the group can flee while they can.”

She turned to look at the rest to say nonchalantly, “Flee while you can while I will do my best to delay Yun Dingzhong or the others.”

Suddenly Yi Ping seemed to be enthralled by her as he looked at her. It was because he had suddenly seen her in a new light that he had never realized before.

Therefore he began to notice her every little expressions!

If the Goddess Isa knew that he was looking at her intently, she would surely be delighted!

It was because she had almost given up hope that she could be with Yi Ping. Moreover she was beginning to doubt if she was able to leave the Stellar Sanctuary alive!

The Goddess Isa had suddenly noticed that Yi Ping was looking at her so she said with an annoyed look, “Yi Ping, are you even listening?”

Yi Ping was startled but he quickly said, “I am…”

All of a sudden Shen Xingyue interrupted, “Wait a minute! You are asking us to flee without a fight?”

The Goddess Isa replied coldly, “It is for your own good.”

Lie Qing yawned softly, “What if I refuse to listen to you?”

The Ascension Goddess Ye Yin raised her eyebrows as she chuckled softly, “I fear nothing, even foes that are stronger than I!” 

Yi Ping immediately shivered when he had heard that. It was because the last time Ye Yin had fought with the Immortal Sword Aegis Sage, she had almost lost her life!

So he immediately said, “Ye Yin, listen to her and live to fight another day.” 

Ye Yin looked at Yi Ping, “I know that a stupid fool will do otherwise. Since I am equally stupid too, so why will I listen?”

Yi Ping was stunned. 

He could only smile bitterly; it was because if it was Ye Yin, he really could not think of anything that he could do to persuade her!

The Goddess Isa replied coolly, “Whatever if you don’t fear death.”

Yunzi was quietly observing the Goddess Isa. Finally she said, “Are you planning to sacrifice yourself for all of us?”

The Goddess Isa hummed coldly, “Don’t get me wrong, I am only fighting for myself. I just don’t want any of you to distract me.”

The Goddess of Mercy smiled, “No wonder the Goddess Isa is also known as the Battle Maiden Isa.”

Yi Ping was solemn. It was because he had silently made up his mind not to retreat when that time comes!

Naturally most of the maidens had already second guessed him when they had seen his solemn expression. How could they not know or guess his intention? 

All of a sudden the Goddess of Mercy flashed an anxious look, “Hold!”

Even the Goddess Isa was alarmed!

It was because this long stone passage was in a mess!

There were cracks along the stone slabs and along the passage ways!

Someone else was in this passage earlier and had destroyed all the possible traps!

Yunzi immediately said, “These cuttings are made by an exponent that exceled in sword energies.”

Ye Yin nodded as she gently touched the walls, “The residue of this sword energy is still so chilling to the touch…”

Yixian quickly flipped and exercised her Jade Icy Fingers against the side of the wall before she gasped softly, “The internal strength of this practitioner is indeed unfathomable. Even my Eternal Heavenly Tears is not able to neutralize this piercing cold sword energy!”

Yunzi nodded as she said quietly, “It is even more formidable than the Six Negative Sword Energies that I have been practicing.” 

Yi Ping looked around the passage anxiously; the entire passage was eerily cold and chilling!

The Goddess Isa had a flinching expression before she sighed softly, “It seems that a deadly fight is unavoidable. It is a plaguing tribulation that we all have to overcome.”

The Goddess of Mercy hummed coldly, “I have never been afraid of anyone. Even if it is a Heavenly King, their guts would surely flee at the sight of my Heavens Sundering Mirror!” 

The Goddess Isa almost choked when she had heard it. She knew that the Goddess of Mercy was trying to put on a brave front so she said coolly, “Right, right!”

All of a sudden Yi Ping said, “There is an opening in front!”

Indeed there was an opening in front! 

Yi Ping was already running towards it!

It was because earlier when Yi Ping had entered this passage, he had sniffed a familiar light fragrant that belonged to Maiden Ziyan! 

The rest of the group nodded as they unsheathed their weapons as they ran right behind him!

As they stepped into the passage opening, it led them into gigantic hall that was very much similar to the lower levels of the Stellar Sanctuary.

There were dozens of white pillars in this gigantic hall and in the middle was a beam of faint blue light.

But what had caught Yi Ping’s attention was not the captivating blue light but the heavenly maiden that was standing next to it; indeed she was Maiden Ziyan aka the Goddess Celestial Alice!

As Yi Ping rushed into the gigantic hall, he called out to her. “Maiden Ziyan!”

The Goddess Isa called out coldly, “Alice! You are here! Prepare to meet your Maker!”

The Goddess Celestial Alice seemed to have snapped out of her trance as she turned around quickly to say panicky, “No wait! Don’t come over!”

The Goddess of Mercy was more composed than the Goddess Isa or even Yi Ping. As she caught the sight of the silvery necklace that was hovering in the middle of the gigantic hall, she gasped with shock. “Isn’t that the Universal Harmonic Chain!? It is actually here?!”

She quickly halted her steps in an explosive burst of martial force as she called out panicky to everyone, “No wait! Don’t go over there!”

But the Goddess Isa had already raised her Divine Constellation Sword as she charged towards the Goddess Celestial Alice, “This time, you are not getting away!”

Yi Ping was startled by the Goddess Isa’s sudden charge but before he could stop her, the entire ground began to shake violently and brilliant lights appeared and disappeared everywhere around them!

But that did not deter the Goddess Isa; in the next instant she was upon the Goddess Celestial Alice as she unleashed dozens of rapid strokes that were aimed at her!

The Goddess Celestial Alice was not slow to react either. She had unsheathed her Astronomic Eulogy Divine Sword with a startling burst of angry martial force as she fended off the attacks while saying angrily, “Look what have you done! You have triggered the Stellar Esper Formation!”

In between their verbal exchanges, they had once again exchanged dozens of quick strokes that exploded thunderously upon impact!

The martial exchange was so furious that everyone including Yi Ping was forced to halt their forward rush! 

The Goddess Isa raised her divine sword again to say, “Not that I care…”

But no sooner had she said, a burst of icy cold martial force had erupted from the blue light in the middle. Before she knew what was happening, she and the Goddess Celestial Alice were slammed onto the ground!

The blue light began to burst in all directions, exploding upon impact when it had hit something!

Yixian, Youxue, Yu’Er and Mei’Er immediately displayed the Divine Emerald Force while everyone else immediately displayed their most epitome skills or counter skills! 

Yi Ping was quick to evade and block dozens most of the exploding lights. He had received only a few hits and temporary inflicting upon him a crippling pain!

When he had recovered his senses, he could only watch in horror as the middle had exploded in a mushroom cloud of grey dust as it completely enveloped both the Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess Isa! 

When he turned back to his back, he was shocked to find Han Lin, Shi Shi, Jing’Er, Lady Winter Plum, the Universal Old Man, Old Vanquisher Sage and Yang Min on the ground!

The Goddess of Mercy had brandished her Heavens Sunder Mirror to reflect most of the piercing blue lights earlier but it was still not enough to stop the brutality of this Stellar Esper Formation!

She was now panting breathlessly! 

In the meantime, the Goddess Aiel gasped out weakly, “Yi Ping! Step back quickly…it is not over yet!” 

But Yi Ping refused as he took a trembling step forward. It was because he knew that the Goddess Celestial Alice and the Goddess Isa were in front of him…

Blocked by the thick dust, he could not see them or sense their vital signs. 

He was trembling and his eyes were wet, “Isa, Alice…you must live…”

All of a sudden from beyond the gigantic hall was a bellowing earthshaking outburst!

Yi Ping coughed out blood as he forced another step forward, “What is that?”

It did not take long for his question to be answered; the dark outline of a monstrous giant with beaming red eyes had suddenly appeared in front of them!