42 Sisters of the Fate
Yi Ping was trembling as he walked weakly towards the Celestial Fairy and Youxue while muttering, "Yixian, Youxue…it is really you! I…I…" He really did not know what to say or noticed the icy coldness of the hall as the maidens were all staring icily at one another.
Yu'Er and Mei'Er knew that their protégé mistress was upset because they had been with her for a long time. Their protégé mistress rarely lost her cool and that only happened when they were just young girls and was playing havoc in the Eternal Ice Palace regardless of the clan rules! It was because they had intentional taken advantage of their mistress easy going nature and broke every single rule frequently!
Lie Qing was awkward as she thought, "Youxue is here and his wife is also here. Why am I in this embarrassing situation? I should go…"
Lingfeng and Ding Yun were also quiet. It was because in the presence of the Celestial Fairy, they knew that they had totally no right. They could not even invoke the rule of the martial fraternity by dueling for their rights. It was because none of them were her martial match except for maybe Lie Qing and the Joyful Goddess.
Yixian and Youxue had hidden themselves from their view because they were too awkward to see Yi Ping. If Yi Ping and his companions could not defeat Yuan Shao in three day time, then they would secretly lend him a helping hand.
Yixian and Youxue divine state of their stealth skill was so startling that they could remain completely invisible even to top exponents. Not even Lie Qing and the Joyful Goddess could detect their presence if they willed it.
But what happened in the Grand Hall of Longevity was simply too much for them to bear, testing even their patience.
The Joyful Goddess was horribly late, this caused them to remain motionless for hours while listening to the flirting conversation between Yi Ping and Lingfeng.
And it continued to grow more outrageous when the Joyful Goddess had arrived and they had to listen to her ridiculous excuses and requests.
Not only Lie Qing could not stand her and wanted to teach her some manners, the Celestial Fairy and Youxue were also thinking the same!
The Celestial Fairy and Youxue simply could not believe such an impossible maiden with that kind of an attitude existed in the fraternity. They could only watch in utter disbelief that Lie Qing, the Joyful Goddess and Yi Ping had all lost their martial power from an internal fight!
Were they even aware that they were surrounded by foes?
After they had lost their martial power, the Joyful Goddess was still in a jovial mood to call for a wedding. But because she had lost her martial power, they suppressed their indignation.
Youxue, who was acquainted with Lingfeng, had almost lost her cool when Lingfeng got slapped by the Joyful Goddess.
But still, they continued to endure the antics of the Joyful Goddess till to the very end.
When they realized that they were played by her, they could no longer suppress their wrath for her even with their state of divinity!
As for Yi Ping, he was walking with trembling steps towards them now!
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Shui Yixian sighed to herself, "If Yi Ping comes close to me I am going to give him a slap. He has abandoned Yu'Er and Mei'Er. He even wants to get marry to a demoness like the Joyful Goddess. Is he blind or he is consumed by lust for her? I really regret putting Yu'Er and Mei'Er into his hands. I have ruined them…"
Youxue was equally hurt and felt that she had been betrayed by Yi Ping. She sighed silently as her eyes turned melancholy, "We…have barely parted and you have been acquainted with another maiden? Are all men like that? You are…just…like my hateful father!"
And she had raised her hands to slap as soon as he got close.
As soon as Yi Ping got close to them, he was tearful and said excitedly. "Yixian, Youxue! It is really the two of you. I…I miss you. Yixian…I have thought we have been separated by the heavens and the earth…it is really good. Don't leave me anymore…"
Yixian had wanted to slap Yi Ping but when she had seen him again and she was glad that he was now talking to her that her heart calmed down considerably. It was because she knew that Yi Ping had never forgotten her. How would she not know? Xiao Youxue had told her everything…
And then he said to Youxue, "Youxue, I have thought that you are gone for good…please forgive me…I am too impulsive. I shouldn't have said those unkind words to you…alas, I am so dense…I really thought that I would no longer see you anymore…"
Xiao Youxue had wanted to slap Yi Ping too. But what she had wanted to do, her heart did not have the will. She could only mutter, "You…are not taking vendetta for your wife anymore?"
Yi Ping laughed sorrowfully aloud, "I…if I know it is you, I will never have the heart. You have saved me so many times…do you think that I would be so ungrateful?"
Yixian comforted him gently, "She didn't kill me. She had almost killed me but so did I. So now, it is fair. Look at you. Why did you run off from the Eternal Ice Palace? With your mediocre skills and straightforward nature, how many lives do you think you can afford to lose?"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "I am still alive…"
Youxue smiled, "You…even a boar had almost killed you! You have better retired from the martial fraternity…"
Yi Ping looked at her gently, "Even a fish could kill me, thanks to you…"
Xiao Youxue had saved Yi Ping from the Thousand Year Ice Fish in the Icy Cavern. After that they had spent more than three months of carefree life together with Lie Qing. That was her happiest period of her life and she had wished that it would never end.
Youxue could not resist a soft chuckle…
Everyone could see suddenly that Yi Ping and the two heavenly maidens were now talking and laughing softly. It was an extremely enviable sight. They seemed to have forgotten about the presence of everyone else in the hall!
Yu'Er and Mei'Er were secretly blinking their eyes and nodding at each other. It was because their protégé mistress was no longer upset. They were smiling at the enviable sight. Even though they had wanted to run to their protégé mistress and to greet her but they were afraid to interrupt this beautiful moment.
Lie Qing was stroking her long hair and had turned away. It was because she knew that she was out of this picturesque scene now that the Celestial Fairy and Youxue were here. Even if she likes Yi Ping, there was nothing left for her to do now…
Lingfeng did not feel uneasy. She was smiling and was teary. She was saying to herself, "Yi Ping has finally found his wife again. That's great…all good things must come to an end. I will never forget you, Yi Ping."
Like Lie Qing, Ding Yun felt out of place…
Of all the timing and of all the people to interrupt, it was the Joyful Goddess.
The Joyful Goddess laughed softly, "Yi Ping, are they your friends? They can attend our wedding too. The more the merrier…"
But she was also playing with her fingers on her chin as she pondered, "The maiden in light blue, she is such a familiar sight?"
All of a sudden, she gasped delightfully. "She is Revelation Star! The statue in the chamber of the Celestial Stars! But her eyes, she has not attained enlightenment yet? Alas, that is troublesome. Oh well…none of my business. She is on her own then…"
The Celestial Fairy and Xiao Youxue had appeared in front of her all of a sudden. Their swiftness movements were not beneath her and were astonishing!
The exponents in the hall were gasping breathlessly. They had never seen someone displaying swiftness movement right in front of them with such startling speed that they did not even notice that they had actually moved from the entrance of the hall to the front of the Joyful Goddess!
The Joyful Goddess was startled but before she could react, they had attacked her.
It was a lucky that that she was agile and she had quickly moved back, "Revelation Star, why are you attacking me?"
The Joyful Goddess had once again provoked them with her incessant arrogance!
The three of them were moving across the hall, flashing to and fro that all the exponents in the hall were rubbing their eyes for they had only seen flashes of shadow!
Yi Ping was gasping, "Speed fighting techniques. Amazing…"
But before he could finish speaking, Lingfeng had appeared in front of him and gave him a knock on his head.
Lingfeng's swiftness movement skill was on par with them!
Yi Ping asked, "Why are you hitting me, Lingfeng?"
Lingfeng said panicky, "You idiot! You are the only one that can stop them now. Stop watching and asks them to stop or there would be casualties!"
Yi Ping was panicky as he quickly shouted, "Yixian, Youxue, Lele! Stop! You are not enemies!"
But his shouts were drowned out by their explosive techniques and blows…
He had lost his martial power and his ordinary shouts could not be heard above the explosive blows that were ringing nonstop…
The Joyful Goddess was shouting panicky, "Two against one, that's despicable!"
Xiao Youxue said coldly, "Aren't you a Prime Celestial? And you are calling for help?"
The Joyful Goddess flew towards Lie Qing and was heard saying, "Qing Qing, help me!"
Yixian and Youxue just wanted to slap the Joyful Goddess but she was proving to be harder than they had expected and extremely good in evading.
Lie Qing hummed coldly, "It seems that we are getting closer to closer each time. Serves you right…"
All of a sudden, a windforce that was created from their rapid fighting sliced past her cheek and scratched her cheek. Lie Qing touched her porcelain face and she looked at the blood that was on her fingers.
Lie Qing had raised her martial power with her Invincible Divine Force as six beaming burst of force exploded from her aura, "How dare you scratch my face!"
And soon, she too was fighting with the Joyful Goddess, the Celestial Fairy and Xiao Youxue!
Lie Qing and Xiao Youxue were friends so they avoided attacking one another.
Xiao Youxue and the Celestial Fairy were friends so they too avoided attacking one another.
The Joyful Goddess had the most disadvantages as she had to fight three super exponents at the same time while Xiao Youxue only need to focused her attention on the Joyful Goddess!
As they fought, their martial power and force increased so rapidly that the entire hall was now shaking and they had already knocked down several pillars!
The Joyful Goddess was now panicking as she had exhausted all her possible strokes against these super exponents; they had seen through all her feints and intrigue moves. It would not be for long before she could be hit by them! She thought, "It is even harder than fighting Yuan Hao…"
But she was also astute shrewd. When she could not take any blows anymore, she would use Lie Qing as her shield by taking evasive action behind her!
If there were a power ranking among these four super exponents however slight it was, the Celestial Fairy Shui Yixian would surely be ranked first, second would be the Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing, Youxue would be third while the Joyful Goddess Huan Le would be last.
But in terms of internal strength, it was the opposite. The Joyful Goddess would outlast them as long as she had the most profound internal strength due to the Celestial Force and her centuries of mediation, provided that she did not get kill first. That was why she was bending attacks with her superior speed against the three of them.
Priest Liu Qingcheng, Gongsun Jing, Nangong Le, Qiu Wufeng, Priest Ling Kongquan and Priest Bai Chongzhen were all shouting to Yi Ping and the rest, "Everyone quickly run! The entire hall is collapsing!"
Yi Ping was reluctant to leave but he was dragged away by Lingfeng and Gongsun Jing.
Gongsun Jing said, "Brother, this place is too dangerous now. The building may collapse anytime. There is nothing we can do except to pray for their safety…"
Lingfeng said, "That's right."
Nangong Le was sighing poetically, "Four heavenly maidens fighting, what a wondrous sight…" But before he could finish, he was knocked onto the ground by a sudden windforce as a shadow dashed past him and he had to be carried away by Qiu Wufeng!
Just as Yi Ping and the last of the group had exited the grand hall, the entire building had suddenly collapsed, leaving the four fighting maidens who were still inside!
The entire structure of the collapsing pillars and walls weighed tons! No one could have possibly survived such a mind blogging heavy crash!
Yi Ping fell upon his knees as he sobbed uncontrollably, "We have just been reunited and now…and now, we have separated again. Why is it that Fate must plays such a cruel trick on me?!"
He began to clench his fists and hit the ground repeatedly until his fists were bloodied…
Lingfeng, Yu'Er and Mei'Er were tearful as they consoled him, "Yi Ping, don't…"
Priest Ling Kongquan said solemnly, "The dead cannot be brought back. We will surely dig up their bodies and give them a grand burial."
Priest Liu Qingcheng was staring at the collapsed Grand Hall of Longevity. It was one of the oldest buildings in the Tranquil Clan with over two thousand years of history.
Priest Bai Chongzhen was sighing to himself, "The Prime Celestial Joyful Goddess is dead…we are still surrounded by our enemies. We are now Celestial Messengers in all but name only…"
Priest Ling Kongquan asked, "How is everyone?"
Gongsun Jing said, "Brother Nangong has fainted earlier. Most of us managed to escape with nothing more than just a few bruises. It is a miracle that we are all able to make it out alive…"
Qiu Wufeng was in tears as he stared at the Grand Hall of Longevity.
Gongsun Jing asked him, "Why are you even more upset than Yi Ping?"
Qiu Wufeng wailed, "I have thought that I would be the hero of the Celestial Star Formation. With the Joyful Goddess dead, who will impart to us the Celestial Star Formation now? We are all as good as dead now. We may as well dig our own graves now."
The hard truth sunk in once again and those who had overheard it were also depressed by the coming outcome!
All of a sudden, Yi Ping got up and he said to everyone. "Priest Liu Qingcheng, I have a request. Let the wedding continues tomorrow. Even if Lele, Lie Qing, Yixian and Youxue are dead, I am going to hold a ceremony for them."
Priest Liu Qingcheng nodded silently.
Ding Yun, Lingfeng, Yu'Er and Mei'Er were now holding hands and were tearful.
When Yi Ping had finished speaking, he had dashed to the collapsed building, picking and throwing away the debris!
Even as Yi Ping had just started picking the debris, Ding Yun, Lingfeng, Yu'Er and Mei'Er were besides him, picking up and clearing the debris with him!
Priest Bai Chongzhen shouted to his clan protégés, "What are you all waiting for? Help them!"
Priest Liu Qingcheng shouted too, "Help them!"
In no time, dozens of protégés from both the Traverse and the Tranquil Clan were also helping to clear the debris!
"What are you doing Yi Ping? Digging dirt like a kid?"
Yi Ping and everyone were startled at this familiar divine voice. It was unmistakably the voice of the Joyful Goddess and he could sniff her lavender scent!
Yi Ping quickly looked up and saw the Joyful Goddess standing in the distance. She was stroking her long luster hair to and fro. Even though she was still quite a distance away but her divine voice could be heard clearly.
Yi Ping muttered, "Lele…are you…human or ghost?"
The Joyful Goddess said, "I am never human. I am a Celestial. When I heard that you are preparing a wedding for me, I have immediately come back from the dead to visit you."
Everyone else was too stunned and fearful to react. It was too supernatural and they were all looking at the Joyful Goddess in utter disbelief.
Yi Ping said sorrowfully, "Lele, I am so sorry. It is my entire fault. I have caused your death indirectly. I shouldn't have asked you to come here in the first place…it is my entire fault…"
The Joyful Goddess sighed melancholy, "Yi Ping, I have only a brief moments left before I vanish. I am so happy that you are going to hold a wedding for my sake. Don't you forget about me…"
Yi Ping was tearful and he was shouting frantically, "Lele, I won't forget you! Don't leave me!"
Ding Yun interrupted, "Yi Ping…Le…the Joyful Goddess isn't a ghost or dead. She has a shadow…"
Lingfeng was startled. She was so seized up by the Joyful Goddess sudden appearance that she was not thinking clearly. If she was not a ghost, then where were the Celestial Fairy, Lie Qing and Youxue?
The Joyful Goddess said melancholy, "I have just died. That…is why I still have a shadow…very soon, even my shadow will vanish and you will never see me ever again…"
Yi Ping cried out, "Le…Lele…."
He had already run with all his might towards her!
But when he had run halfway to her, dashing across the gardens, small pavilions and the stone bridge that was across a small canal, Yi Ping had suddenly paused in his tracks.
He had suddenly turned back and was red-faced.
He began to walk back quietly and there was a shadow in his expressions!
Everyone was stunned!
Lingfeng thought, "Didn't he missed the Joyful Goddess so much that he just ran all the way to her? Why did he suddenly turned back and looking so upset?"
The Joyful Goddess was calling out, "You….you don't miss me anymore?"
Yi Ping turned around and pointed at another direction.
As there were buildings blocking the views, no one except Yi Ping could see what he was actually pointing at.
But Gongsun Jing, Lingfeng, Ding Yun, Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Qiu Wufeng, Priest Bai Chongzhen, Priest Ling Kongquan and Priest Liu Qingcheng hastened to Yi Ping immediately. They were equally stunned at the same time when they saw the Celestial Fairy, Lie Qing and Youxue standing under a pavilion and they were examining a golden scroll together in perfect harmony!
They were all ghosts?
The Joyful Goddess immediately said melancholy, "We have all died…"
Yi Ping said angrily, "Enough! Why did you lie to me, Lele? Do you think it is even in the least funny?"
The Joyful Goddess looked sheepish as she took a glance at the Celestial Fairy, Lie Qing and Youxue before saying, "I just want to know if you are concern for me or not. I…I really had a near miss with death but Revelation Star has grabbed me…"
The Celestial Fairy nodded gently, indicating that it was the truth.
Actually Yi Ping was not really upset with her. He was truly glad that she was alive.
But when he had heard that she really got a near miss with death, his heart immediately softened as he asked gently. "Are you alright?"
The Joyful Goddess nodded slowly.
Yi Ping asked, "What is going on?"
Of course, Lele was not going to tell him now because it was something unorthodox and embarrassing.
When the grand hall was collapsing, they had continued to fight with one another furiously.
At the last crucial moment Yixian had blocked off a falling heavy wooden arc that almost hit Lele with her Divine Emerald Skill as she whispered softly. "We need to get out of here fast or we will all going to die."
Lie Qing agreed with her, "Let's settle the fight outside then."
They were in harmony on that and immediately ceased fighting, using their last ditch efforts to make an escape in the nick of time.
When they were outside and just as they were about to assume their fights, the Joyful Goddess suddenly said. "Sisters look!"
She had took out a golden scroll and rolled it opened in front of their eyes.
Yixian, Youxue and Lie Qing were stunned at the number of intricate formulas that were found in this scroll as they scanned quickly with their eyes. Every single wording of the intricate formulas that were found in this golden scroll was profound!
Because the wordings of the scroll were written in an older text, it took them some time to realize the importance of such a martial treasure!
Youxue asked, "What is this golden scroll?"
Lele said, "These are the various intricate formulas and the paths required to attain divinity. These intricate formulas will aid in your understandings of your martial skills and help you to overcome the Divine Calamity one day depending on your destiny."
Lie Qing was looking at it with trembling eyes for she knew how deadly the Divine Calamity was and she was unsure if she could survive the next Divine Calamity for she had cheated death using an unorthodox method.
Even the Celestial Fairy Yixian was moved by the sight of the golden scroll for past protégé leaders of the Eternal Ice Palace had all perished in the Divine Calamity.
Youxue asked, "Is the intricate formula real?"
Yixian replied, "Appears to be. This and this, are real and even more polish from what I have known. It takes me five years to figure this intricate formula at that staging. If I know of this intricate formula earlier, it can save me four painful years…"
Youxue was amazed of Yixian's ability to read and her mastery of the various intricate formulas.
Lele smiled, knowing that they had been moved by the golden scroll that she had found.
She added, "Clearing the Divine Calamity is just the first step. There are seven stages of divinity at the Celestial Level. They are Genesis, Enlighten, Emotion, Transverse, Seventh Sense, Crisis and Ascend. Each stage of divinity is furthered divided into three tiers, lower, middle and upper. Without this scroll, you can never understand how to clear and survive at each staging."
Lie Qing gasped as she peek at the scroll, "I am only at the Genesis Level. My crisis…"
Lie Qing was the only one that had no difficulty in reading the text but the many of the intricate formula was so profound that she could not grasp the essence of the intricate formula yet.
The contents of the entire golden scroll could probably take centuries to fully grasp and understand!
Yixian was quiet for a moment before she asked softly, "What is it that you want so that you can impart to us the contents of this scroll?"
The Joyful Goddess laughed softly, "Nothing. You are all my sisters. When you have reached the Transverse stage, you will understand. We have a secret destiny waiting for us that even I cannot divine yet. We are once sisters together in a different time. What really happens I really do not know because I do not have those memories too. But if we are to survive until the Divine Wrath, we must be together."
Lie Qing asked, "Is that why you have been calling me Luminous Star?"
Youxue asked in a low whisper, "You…you will help us?"
The Joyful Goddess nodded, "But there are certain things you must know. You must severe all attachments and sentiments until you can reach the Emotion Staging, or else it will be disastrous for all of you. It is a long way before you can even reach the Emotion Staging, perhaps many centuries."
Lie Qing looked at Yixian and Youxue for she knew what they must be thinking. She smiled bitterly, "I don't mind. I am already at the Genesis staging. It not as if I have someone in mind." She had lied of course.
Yixian's reply stunned Lie Qing and Youxue, "This is necessary sacrifices. Yi Ping and I belong to different world. I have already wasted so many empty years and time is running out for me. To overcome the Divine Calamity is not only my past protégé leaders' wishes but is also mine. I…am willing to embark on the path of divinity."
Youxue kept quiet. She was thinking of Yi Ping at the same time and the contents of the golden scroll.
The Joyful Goddess knew that she had successful bribed them and turned them on her side.
For Yixian and Lie Qing's state of divinity, it was not an easy matter to bribe them. No one would surrender an intricate formula without any condition. Each of the intricate formula in the golden scroll was a martial secret and extremely profound. The Joyful Goddess had shown them not one but so many intricate formulas at the same time and so willingly.
How could they not be moved?
She added, "From now on, we are sisters. You still have the time to think over it. I will leave the golden scroll with you for three days.
The Joyful Goddess sighed softly, "But now, I got a bigger headache. I still need your approval for my wedding. I don't want to be slapped or be embarrassed on my wedding date."