The Peace before the Storm
Yi Ping thought, “It is all quiet now?”
He immediately adjusted his direction and sped up to a mountain ledge so that he could have a bird eye view of his immediately vicinity and was startled to see a gigantic monument of a monk that was craved into the mountains!
His body shuddered a little and he was in awe. It was because this gigantic monument was as gigantic as the mountains!
Between its toes, there was a gigantic entrance!
The disturbances seemed to be coming from the gigantic monument!
His first thought was, “Who will craft something like this? It will take thousands of years!”
But after he had calmed down, he rubbed his nose and thought. “Alas! I am so silly. We are inside the Stellar Sanctuary. Everything is entirely possible here…”
“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” A soft alluring voice whispered gently behind him.
It was Lingfeng.
Yi Ping smiled without turning back, “Yes, it is beautiful!”
Without turning back, he knew that Lingfeng, Yixian, the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura, Xingyue, Ye Yin, Lele, Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Youxue, the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa and the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess had all caught up with him and were all standing quietly behind him.
The Goddess Celestial Alice said quietly, “It is beautiful but I have an uneasy about this. It seems that it is where the Green Dragon Sacred Sword has disappeared into now.”
Yi Ping nodded as he turned around. He was just in time to see the rest of the group catching up with them!
The Universal Old Man panted heavily, “Ping’Er, your swiftness movement seems to have picked up considerably lately but running has never been my forte…”
The Goddess Aiel commented sarcastically, “With your pot belly, I doubt your running will ever improve!”
Lie Qing and Han Lin smiled weakly while Yunzi said gently, “He is better than many already…”
Skylord Jun smiled, “Indeed!”
All of a sudden the rest of the group caught the gigantic monument that could only be seemed at the overlaying ledge and they too, were awe by it!
The Immortal Saint of Swords gasped, “I have been in the Celestial Realm for so long and has never seen anything like this before!”
The Goddess Aiel said, “This is the monument statue of the Great God Pangu.”
Yi Ping was startled, “It is?”
He began to stare at the round head and long ears before rubbing his nose, “I don’t know what to say. The Great God Pangu is a monk?”
Lingfeng giggled, “I thought you want to say, he is not handsome as you thought.”
Yi Ping laughed, “Only Yixian and Nuwa really know what the Great God Pangu looks like. Am I right?”
He glanced at Yixian and Nuwa with gentle eyes…
Yixian smiled, “What if I tell you that the Great God Pangu really looks like this?”
Yi Ping smiled, “I don’t believe!”
Nuwa giggled, “Smart but how did you guess it?”
Yi Ping shrugged his shoulders, “I believe that the hallucination of the Great God Pangu at the 10th level depicts his true self than this monument here.”
Yixian smiled, “I have almost forgotten about that. It seems that we can’t fool you.”
Nuwa groaned, “What hallucination? Come tell me.”
Yi Ping smiled, “I will tell you some other time…”
The Lord Supreme said excitingly, “I know of a similar statue in the Great Wilderness too.”
The Immortal Saint of Swords furrowed his brows and stared at him, “You know? Where?”
The Lord Supreme laughed, “Now that I have found the cultivation methods to advance as an immortal practitioner, I don’t mind telling you. It is somewhere west of the Great Wilderness and I have long suspected that it is a gateway to the First Heavens!”
He started to look at the Goddess Celestial Alice and the other Immortals for a confirmation of his guess while asking, “That is just my guess but whether it is true or not, only they can tell me.”
The Goddess Asura nodded, “Indeed. But unless the practitioners have undergone nine tribulations of Divine Calamity, they are unlikely to survive the attempt to the Monument of the Great God Pangu.”
Lingfeng was gasping, “So a direct way to the Immortal Realm really exists in the Celestial Realm?! Then why are we here?”
The Goddess Isa smiled, “That is because you are supposed to go to the Great Wilderness to further your cultivation but most of you are only interested to stay in the comfort zone of the Celestial Realm while the rest who dare to venture to the Great Wilderness are too weak to survive for long there!”
She paused to smile at Yi Ping, “Except for the Dark Chaos Lord.”
The Immortal Saint of Swords stared at the Lord Supreme, “You know and you didn’t tell any of us?!”
The Lord Supreme hummed as he smiled bitterly, “I wish I know. I am doing my own investigations. Why did you think I have delegated the leadership of the Holy Ascension Sect to the others for so long? If I really know, I will have already transcended to the First Heavens!”
Yu’Er immediately smiled gently to the Immortal Saint of Swords, “Father only resumes the leadership of the Holy Ascension Sect for the past one hundred years.”
Mei’Er nodded, “That is right!”
The Lord Supreme sighed softly, “I only know that it is a dangerous place and I want to wait until I am ready. But at that time the Holy Ascension Sect is facing several crises after several of its leadership has all perished in the Stellar Sanctuary. So I have to put back my plans back to the Great Wilderness on hold.”
The Goddess Isa smiled, “If you have succeeded then you will enter the Immortal Realm as an immortal of the forth positioning and he can even enter the Sixth Heavens.”
The Lord Supreme was startled and so were the rest!
He asked, “But I have heard you said that there are millions of immortals in the Immortal Realm, especially between the First Heavens and the Third Heavens. Can a celestial advance as a high ranking immortal in the Immortal Realm at the very start?”
The Goddess Celestial Alice said as she nodded to the Goddess Asura and the Goddess Isa, “We shouldn’t reveal Heavens’ secrets to you. This is really for you to find out. The first is the last and the last is the first. There are no Divine Calamities in the Immortal Realm. Most Immortals are unable to advance and even if there are advancements, it is an extremely slow progress.”
Skylord Jun sighed as it reminded him of the agonizing years that it had taken him to advance from the Forth Immortal Ranking to the Fifth Immortal Ranking, making him one of the most powerful Arhat Practitioners in the Immortal Realm, “Indeed!”
Alice continued, “The strong is always the strong, the weak is always the weak in the Immortal Realm.”
The Goddess Aiel muttered, “It is easier for the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa and the Goddess Asura to say that. Their immortal rankings have started off as the Sixth Immortal Positioning, the same as the first generation Heavenly Kings and have now advanced to the Seventh Immortal Positon!”
The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess smiled weakly, “Maybe I am the first of the Heavenly Kings to reach the Seventh Immortal Position. In all these years, most of us will probably never advance at all.”
The Goddess Aiel sighed softly, “Poor me. The Fifth and the Sixth Immortal Positioning is like a dream for me. I really can’t imagine how hard it is for me to reach the Seventh Positioning…”
She took a playful glance at Yi Ping before smiling, “And someone here has already reached the Eighth Immortal Positioning!”
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he rubbed his nose…
The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled, “And most of you here can probably defeat Aiel even if she is an immortal.”
Aiel immediately said, “Don’t remind me of that, Great Goddess…”
The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled to the Celestial Fairy Yixian and the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa, “With the Great Goddess Fantian and the Great Goddess Nuwa here who are the true Great Goddesses, I dare not claim this title now.”
Nuwa chuckled softly, “It is alright. You can be a Great Goddess. I am the Great Desolate Goddess anyway.”
Yixian smiled gently, “I am sure that you will definitely be in the Eighth Immortal Positioning. Therefore the title of Great Goddess is yours sooner or later.”
Alice smiled weakly, “I have only just advanced to the Seventh Positioning. To reach the Eighth Positioning, this will either take an impossible long time or not at all.”
Yixian looked at Alice intently, “You have great wisdom and great faith. You have restrained from temptations and have advanced to the Seventh Positioning through your own efforts. While miracle pills do exist but advancing your own attainment through these miracle pills will only slow down your next advancement by or stop your advancement. Perhaps slowing down is not the right word to use. Imagine slowing down your next advancement by ten times, hundred times or more! It is better not to depend on miracle pills to accomplish your next advancement unless you have really no other choice!”
The Goddess Isa and the Goddess Asura lowered their glances as they said at the same time, “I have long ago given up on furthering my divine practice…”
The Goddess Isa looked at the Goddess Asura, “I have long reached my advancement wall…”
The Goddess Asura sighed softly, “So did I…”
But she soon smiled when she looked at Yi Ping, “But someone here seems to be advancing rather quickly! Why is it so? Because he is the Great God Pangu?”
Yi Ping smiled weakly, “I do not know…”
Yixian smiled, “But I do know. He has always restrained from taking these divine pills and saved it for all of us. He has never been tempted by these divine pills. In a way, this has the effect of raising his true state of divinity. Since his state of divinity has already advanced to the point of him attaining an entire new level when he does take the miracle pills, it has no effect on his future attainment. All the miracle pills did are just to push him along.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice nodded as she looked warmly at Yi Ping, “Indeed. The state of divinity is more important than the level of cultivation…”
Yi Ping sighed softly, “I wish I can be stronger still…”
The Immortal Saint of Swords was pondering on the mysteries of the Immortal Realm and did not say a word but he was soon curious enough to ask bluntly, “Since the Immortals of the Immortal Realm are powerful enough to descend to the Celestial Realm, why didn’t the Immortals reveal the Immortal Practice to us or show us the way to the Immortal Realm?”
Lingfeng, the Lord Supreme, the Universal Old Man, many others and even Yi Ping was curious too!
Yi Ping asked as he looked at the immortals, “Why didn’t you? Maybe it will prevent more bloodshed in the Celestial Realm!”
The Goddess of Mercy Xiang smiled as she looked at the Goddess Celestial Alice, “That is because we didn’t really want the Celestials to start ascending to the Immortal Realm and change the order of things. The only person that we are all waiting is only the Great God Pangu. The powerful Immortals are few and the ascend Celestials may number in the thousands or maybe more as time goes by!”
The Goddess Asura said quietly, “The number of Immortals in the Immortal Realm may number in the millions but these numbers are impossible to increase and will only decrease over time due to disaster. Moreover…”
She looked at the Goddess Celestial Alice, “One of the reasons why the Zen Practitioners and the Arhat Practitioners are fighting with each other is because we cannot agree on the new order. Alice wants to bring upon a new order but even among the Zen Practitioners, not many of the leaders agree with her.”
Alice nodded, “And even if we are able to descend to the Immortal Realm, there is a heavy price to be extracted.”
Skylord Jun sighed sadly, “I have to sacrifice my divine sword the Pinnacle of Stars to descend to the Celestial Realm…it has been with me since the beginning of time…”
Alice said quietly, “But I have always believed that the New Order cannot be halted. But because the Goddess Theocracy under my willful leadership wants to enact the will of the Great God Pangu, this has led to the loss of many lives in the Immortal Realm. That is why in the end, I did not reveal the secrets of the Immortal Realm further. Also I, myself was being imprisoned in the Astronomic Stellar Formation.”
She took a look at Yi Ping as she smiled shyly…
The Universal Old Man, the Lord Supreme, the Immortal Saint of Swords and Lingfeng were all looking at each other. They had remembered that it was the Sagess Ai whose identify was the Goddess Aiel; it was she who had guided them to the Celestial Realm.
Yi Ping said all of a sudden as he pointed at the peak in the distant, “Lingfeng, Yunzi, Youxue, Lele, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Yi Si, Han Lin, Aiel…can you please stay as far as possible. I will look for you after this. Alright?”
Lingfeng protested immediately, “What do you mean by you will look for us after this? You are not taking us with you? We have been together for so long!”
Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Lele, Youxue and Aiel were all protesting as well when they were startled by the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura, the Goddess of Mercy, the Celestial Fairy Yixian, the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa and the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess who were all staring coldly at the rest of the group!
And they had all stood in positions next to Yi Ping!
It seemed that they had all conspired with Yi Ping from the very start!
Lele gasped, “Ping’Er, explain yourself! You are leaving us alone?”
The Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess interrupted coldly, “There is a battle between the Jade Emperor and the Heavenly Kings inside. If you go there with us, you will surely die. It is not a place for you. The lesser Heavenly Kings that you have encountered earlier are nothing compared to these Heavenly Kings that we are going to encounter inside. Do you get me?”
Immediately Skylord Jun, the Immortal Saint of Swords and the Lord Supreme began to shiver as they recalled how powerless they were up against one Western Paradise Heavenly King and he was just toying with them!
Yi Ping said quietly, “I will come back soon enough. So wait for me!”
Lele protested, “I don’t want to!”
Yixian said gently, “Sister Lele, listen to us this time alright? You will only distract Ping’Er. Our opponents are ruthless and they will be able to hold you hostage with a single move. Then what do you think Ping’Er will do to save you? He will rather sacrifice himself than let you come to harm. So be good and waits for me, alright?”
Lele was beaming with tears. She turned around without saying a word and stormed off angrily!
Yu’Er and Mei’Er had stormed off at the same time too!
Lie Qing smiled mesmerizing, “I know that it is dangerous but I want to come too.”
Yi Ping shook his head, “Qing’Er, I have faith in your skills but I fear our opponents more. I really have an uneasy feeling about this.”
Lie Qing smiled wryly, “Alright then.”
She turned around immediately and marched off toward Lele’s direction!
Xingyue smiled, “Be careful then.”
Ye Yin gave Yi Ping a devilish look, “You have better return alive or alive or I will never forgive you!”
Yunzi and Youxue gave Yi Ping a smile but said nothing…
Yi Si said, “Father, be careful!”
The Universal Old Man patted Yi Ping’s on his shoulder, “Ping, just be careful. We will look forward to see you again!”
The Lord Supreme and the Immortal Saint of Swords bowed with their hands, “Brother Yi Ping, we will await your return!”
Skylord Jun said, “I really wish that I will be able to join you, alas! But since you have already made up your own mind, I should not try to persuade you anymore. Good tidings!”
Yi Ping nodded as he raised his hands, “Farewell! Wait for me!”
Without saying a word more, he had jumped down to the valley below!
The Goddess Celestial Alice smiled to the rest of the group, “Till we meet again!” With that, she had leapt down the valley!
“Farewell and till we meet again!” Yixian, Nuwa, the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess, Asura, Isa and Xiang bade their goodbyes and jumped down from the ledge to the valley below!