45 The Heavenly Relic
It was late in the night and there were cool breezes in all directions.
The peace was disturbed by minute tremors, caused by underground earthquakes.
The Celestial Fairy Shui Yixian was alone with Yi Ping, as they sat on top of a hill, looking at the starry skies and overlooking the majestic Tranquil Mountains.
Besides the Northern Star, there were seven other bright stars in the same constellation…
Yixian muttered softly, "When we had first met, your martial skills were just mediocre. But now, your martial skill has advanced so rapidly in such a short time…."
She added, "The ancients said; one's state of divinity depends on the state of the mind, the will, the heart, the timing of the four seasons and also the divine will of the heavens and the earth. Once all the criteria are met, the state of divinity of one's self is able to overwhelm even the sun and the moon. Everything that you hope to accomplish is within your reach in no time. Even though you are not exposed to any superior heart intricacies but everything about you is just so natural and simple. Do you know that your present state of divinity is not something that others can attain, requiring decades of mediation and cultivation? This is something I do not understand."
Yi Ping looked at her intently and said, "Xian'Er, how long have it been? I…miss you. Do you know how sad I have been when I have thought that you are no longer alive?"
Yixian said quietly, "I will rather you rebuke me…then I will feel much better…Ping'Er, I'm sorry. I am the one that cause you distress. Knowing you is the happiest day of my life."
Yi Ping sighed deeply, "That is mine as well. Why can't you go with me?"
Yixian smiled sadly, "The Divine Calamity is about to descend upon me. Already there are earth and wind changes. In less than one month, when the Celestial Omen appears, the Divine Calamity will strike in seven days."
Yi Ping said defiantly, "Just because of what Lele has said?"
Yixian added melancholy, "That is my destiny. I have only realized it when Lie Qing, Lele and I have fought together against Xiao Da. There is a familiar feeling that I seem to have known them for a long time and it seems that it is not the first time that we have been fighting as a group…"
Yi Ping interrupted, "You can't really believe everything that she is saying. Most of the time, she isn't even serious…"
Yixian put her fingers on his lips as she looked in his eyes gently, "Don't ever think of her in this way. She is right…if I cannot overcome my forthcoming Divine Calamity, then we will really never be able to see each other again. If destiny wills it, we may yet see each other again. Whether what she has said is true, I really do not know. But Lele and Lie Qing are the only ones right now that can guide me through the Divine Calamity."
Yi Ping sighed heavily, "What if we can't see each other again? Why can't we make the full use of our time together?"
Yixian said gently as she held his elbow, "You don't believe in me?"
Yi Ping said, "It is not that…I can help you…"
Yixian smiled as she looked up in the heavens, "No one is able to help me, not even Lele and Lie Qing. If they tried to help me directly, then it will have dire future consequences for all of us…"
She wanted to say, "Even Lele and Lie Qing, with their superior state of divinity and profound martial abilities could not overcome the Divine Calamity on their own. There is nothing you can do to help…do you know that my protégé mistress too was killed by the Divine Calamity and I had personally witnessed how deadly it was?"
She looked at him quietly before saying, "Destiny starts, destiny ends. We have come to the world alone and we will depart alone. Don't put it into your heart. Our destiny may have end but your destiny with many others have not…"
All of a sudden, she began to look at him quietly…
Yi Ping asked, "Is something amiss? Or is there something on my face?"
Yixian was startled by him as she muttered, "Nothing…"
It was because she had suddenly realized something. "Is it too much of a coincidence?"
Lele, Lie Qing and she, all three of them owed their very lives to Yi Ping…
He was like the link that had brought them together…
Yi Ping said quietly, "My mother used to say to me; rather than be troubled by constant worries, it is better to treasure the precious moments…"
Yixian was startled. It was because her older protégé sister Shui Yichi used to tell her the same too. Yi Ping's mother was none other than her older protégé sister Shui Yichi. She still remembered the last time that she had told her that was when she had decided to hand over the leadership of the Eternal Ice Palace to her and had decided to leave with Yi Tianxing.
Till to this day, she could not understand why Shui Yichi could bear to leave her decades of hard wrought state of divinity behind so that she could lead an ordinary life.
It was because they had been practicing a type of internal strength heart intricacy formula in the form of the Emotionless Rhyme. Falling in love or moved by emotions would ruin their decades of cultivation and even cause their internal strength to deteriorate.
Practiced with the Icy Heavenly Tears, the intricacy energy of the Eternal Ice Palace, they would cease to age.
Before Yichi had left, she had said. "I know that you may not necessary understand. Perhaps, in time to come, only you may be the only one that can overcome the Divine Calamity."
She had said, "I have always admired you…my internal strength can never be as pure as you….I should have advanced more carefully in the past. Now it is already too late…"
Yichi comforted her with a smile, "Little protégé sister. Rather than be troubled by constant worries, it is better to treasure the precious moments. I have already found my true destiny…"
She had said, "I don't understand…you have changed. I have never seen you smile as you do now. Overcoming the Divine Calamity is our protégé mistress wish. Have you forgotten her dying wish for us? Have you forgotten how she had died?"
Yichi just smiled faintly…
Yixian was interrupted by Yi Ping who said to her, "My fate is in my hands and not in the destinies of others."
All of a sudden, Yixian had a spinning headache. This line was so vaguely familiar. It was as though she had heard it somewhere before…
All of a sudden, she began to look at him in a new light.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Yi Ping who was muttering in anguish, "Xian'Er…what exactly is the Divine Calamity? Is there anything I can do to stop it? I don't want it to happen. I don't want you to die…"
Yixian smiled melancholically, "You can't stop it. No one can stop it from happening. As for the Divine Calamity…for us practitioners, we are able to recognize its true form through the many signs and omens…"
She sighed, "When there is life, there must be death. This is the natural law of the cosmos. Martial practitioners like us are sometimes able to prolong our lives through superior mediation techniques and superior heart intricacies, exceeding the limitations of nature. That is when the Divine Calamity will confront us, to curb us, to stop us! It is because it goes against the way of the heavens!"
Just then, another minor quake shook the hill…
Yi Ping was startled, "So these quakes are caused by the Divine Calamity? This is too cruel…why must such a horrible thing exist?"
Yixian said gently, "It is a tribulation and a test. Those who can overcome the Divine Calamity will be able to break free of their current state of divinity and break free of the ills of mortality. This is something to be welcome…"
Yi Ping said bitterly, "I will help you overcome it, I swear. I'll be back and return to help you. Wait for me…"
Yixian just smiled faintly, "Ping'Er…till I have known you, I have finally realized what it is meant to care for someone, to worry for someone and to like someone…If there is a next life…if there is a next life, I want to be with you. No matter how long it would takes…"
Yi Ping's voice was trembling, "Next…life? How long would it be?"
Yixian's eyes were teary and even her voice was shaky, "No matter how long, I will surely wait…no matter how long, I am not afraid…when that time comes, we will be together…alright Ping'Er?"
Yi Ping shook his head, "I don't want. Next life is too long. We're already together…"
He cried aloud, "Xian'Er…let's make an agreement together…you must wait till I am back. Promise me, wait for me! I will come back for you. It won't be too long and we can be together again!"
Yixian looked sadly away as she sighed secretly, "Ping'Er…why must I be from the Eternal Ice Palace…the nemesis of the Emotionless Rhyme is worldly affections and emotions. To overcome the Divine Calamity means I must forget you. Even if I overcome the Divine Calamity, it means that I must continue the divine state of the Emotionless Rhyme…to stop practicing it means I will die as well…"
Yi Ping said with quiet determination, "Our destiny is in our hands and not heavens. Xian'Er, do not be afraid. I will not let you die again."
"We will not let it happen as well."
Lie Qing had said that and with her were Lele, Youxue and Lingfeng.
It did not take them too long to reach the hill top.
Lingfeng said, "Someone is thinking of leaving secretly, no doubt about it."
Yi Ping smiled bitterly but he refused to say a single word. It seemed that he could never hide his thoughts from Lingfeng.
He called out to Lele as soon as she was near, "Lele…I am about to look for you. Help me to take care of Yixian while I am not around. You and Qing'Er…"
He looked at Lie Qing with pleading eyes…
Lie Qing nodded silently. She stroked her silken long hair with her fingers as she smiled, "Yi Ping, don't worry. With Lele and me around, we will soon find a suitable intricacy formula in the golden scroll that may be useful for Sister Yixian to overcome the Divine Calamity. After all, Lele has already spent centuries looking into the mysteries of the golden scroll."
Yi Ping was startled, "What did you just say, Qing'Er?"
Lie Qing repeated, "I say, don't worry. We can surely help sister to overcome the Divine Calamity."
Yi Ping muttered, "Not that. You said that Lele has already spent centuries looking into the mysteries of the golden scroll?"
Lie Qing said, "That's right. Or else, she won't be able to attain divinity."
Yi Ping was solemn, "That golden scroll…she just found it not long ago. I don't recall her opening that golden scroll even once after we have found it. Lele…"
Lele quickly said, "Erm…that is what they have assumed. I have never said that."
Everyone was looking at Lele in stunned astonishment.
Yixian muttered, "And you just give us the precious golden scroll without first copying it or trying to understand its contents first?"
Lele nodded, "That's right. What is wrong with that?"
Yixian, Youxue, Lie Qing, Yi Ping and Lingfeng were looking at one another and were speechless. It was because intricacy formulas were extremely precious and closely guarded. Even if a person had no use for it, it did not mean that its secrets had to be revealed to others.
Any practitioners would have eagerly pondered over the secret intricate formulas day and night…
But Lele had simply surrendered the golden scroll to them without any second thoughts…
Her true state of divinity was astonishing. It was no wonder that she could advance so quickly in her celestial divinity.
That was only half the truth. The golden scroll originally belongs to Revelation Star and therefore Lele had felt that the golden scroll actually belonged to Yixian. That was why there was no hesitation from her as she handed over the golden scroll to her. If it were others, she would never willingly surrender it. And moreover, after overcoming the Celestial Star Formation that was within the scroll, she knew that many of the intricate formulas in the golden scroll would require Lele and Yixian's help to divine it; in her surreal memories, she was the youngest of the three Sisters of Fate and her state of divinity was also the lowest. It was only through Revelation Star and Luminous Star help that she was able to overcome crisis after crisis.
Lele had another embarrassing reason; she was actually too lazy to think and practiced any intricate formulas at the moment. If anyone was trapped like her in the Star Celestial Formation for a hundred years, exhausting all her spiritual and mental strength to escape from it then they would surely understand.
Yixian muttered, "Nothing. There is still time for me…"
Lele comforted her, "That's right. There is still hope. Let's don't give it up. We surely can think of a way. With our state of divinities, we may be able to find a way to overcome the Divine Calamity."
Yixian said gently to Youxue, "Youxue, you have practiced the Icy Heavenly Tears and also know the Emotionless Rhyme. I have already imparted to you all the heart intricacy formulas of these skills. Whether you can advance it depends on your destiny. You…you will take over the leadership of the Eternal Ice Palace from now on…"
Youxue was startled, "I…I take over?! Isn't Yi Ping already the protégé leader of the Eternal Ice Palace? And there is Yu'Er and Mei'Er; surely they are more than capable than me to helm the Eternal Ice Palace."
Yixian said gently, "I have made Yi Ping the protégé leader so that I can retain him in the Eternal Ice Palace. However, that does not go as planned. As for Yu'Er and Mei'Er, they have too much worldly affections and it would be difficult for them to advance the martial skills of the Eternal Ice Palace. I really hope that you can do me this favor. I cannot allow the centuries of foundation of the Eternal Ice Palace to be ruined in my hands…"
Youxue looked silently at Yi Ping and then at Yixian.
Yi Ping said to Youxue, "Youxue…don't hesitate, just accept it. It is a good thing."
Lingfeng scolded Yi Ping silently, "You pig head! You have not realized what it means yet!"
Youxue asked softly, "So is there a wedding today or is it cancelled?"
Yi Ping did not know why Youxue was asking him that. He replied seriously, "I…I have overheard your conversation last night…"
Immediately, all the maidens began to flush lightly. Even though they knew that Yi Ping had overheard them last night but it was still a very embarrassing thing to even mention it, especially for Lingfeng. It was because she was almost violated by Xiao Da…
Yi Ping sighed, "I do…understand…"
Lingfeng scolded silently again, "What do you understand…you are making things worse and worse…."
Yi Ping sighed heavily, "It is better that we cancelled the wedding first or it will be unfair to all of you. I don't even know if I will make it back alive from the Holy Amalgamate Mountains. Also, now that I know that my father is alive, I should at least inform my father. Then it will be proper…"
He had completely misunderstood Youxue.
Xiao Youxue hummed coldly, "Sister Yixian, I accept!"
Yixian nodded gently, "Very good. From now on, you are the thirty-six Emerald Mistress of the Eternal Ice Palace! You are to take care of all clan affairs and to nurture the talents. I…leave everything to your care from now on…"
Xiao Youxue said tearfully, "I…I will…"
Yixian said gently, "This is the Eternal Sealed Ring of the Eternal Ice Palace, the heraldry of the Protégé Leader."
Yi Ping said, "Youxue, congratulations! It is a good thing."
Xiao Youxue looked at him with hurtful eyes…
Yi Ping asked, "Youxue, what's wrong? You must be too happy, am I right?"
Lingfeng sighed, "Yi Ping…you are hopeless…"
Lele interrupted, "Yi Ping, you don't have to worry about the wedding anymore. I'm cancelling it."
Yixian, Lie Qing, Youxue and Lingfeng were startled.
Yi Ping was relieved, "Is that so? I know that it is too hasty. We can postpone it to a better time…"
Lele said coldly, "We are not getting married anymore. Not now, not in the future. Not ever."
Yi Ping was startled, "Lele, is that a joke? You can't…"
Lele said, "Why can't I? I am a Prime Celestial. I have no affections and sentiments whatever so. I…I'm just pulling your leg. Look at you; you are so easy to be baited. You really need more worldly experiences. Have you ever seen a Goddess displaying mortal affections?"
Yi Ping stammered, "But Lele, we…may not have gone through the marriage ritual but we have already through the ritual of man and wife, surely you can't…."
Lele was suddenly flushing, "Wait! You…you….you….don't say it aloud! You…"
Yixian, Lingfeng, Lie Qing and Youxue were suddenly bleary eyes as they thought, "So…they have already advanced so far ahead…"
Even though Yixian was Yi Ping's wife, they had never been intimate before.
Lingfeng and Youxue were trembling…
Lele said coldly, "Our destiny has ended nevertheless. Who you want to get marry to, is your business and not mine anymore. Why don't you go ask your father permission first…you pig head!"
Yi Ping stammered, "I will surely ask my father to approve of it. A marriage blessed by our parents would mean many blissful years ahead. Of course I will ask. Isn't that what I am going to do?"
Lele said icily, "I repeat. I am not to going to be married to you, not ever!"
Yi Ping was bewildered, "Lele, then what about our baby? You can' just…do that…"
All the maidens were startled and staggered backward.
Youxue gasped her hands lightly, "They…are so intimate already…I…"
Lie Qing tried very hard to control her emotions, "Lele has already lost her chastity to Yi Ping. No wonder she tries so hard to hold the wedding. I…I have wronged her and shouldn't have fought so bitterly with her… I have ruined her wedding…"
Lingfeng had almost slapped Yi Ping as she tried hard to restraint herself.
Yixian just muttered gently, "Is that so…"
Lele was startled, "Who say we got a baby?"
Yi Ping was bewildered, "But everyone says so…"
Lele was feeling dizzy, "Who says so?"
Yi Ping said, "Everyone…Everyone says that if two people go to bed together, then they will have baby in no time…"
Lele almost fainted as she smiled weakly, "Yi Ping, you are…a country pumpkin…let me tell you. I am erm…attain divinity a long time ago. It is really impossible for us to have any children, alright? So don't you worry or think too much about it."
This time, it was Yi Ping who was staggering backward. "We…won't have any children? That's impossible…"
But Yi Ping quickly recovered and he said with conviction, "Lele. No matter. I will take you as my wife…"
Lele looked at Yi Ping tenderly, her voice had softened and her rage dissipated. In that single moment, it seemed that they were the only ones on top of the hill.
Lele muttered shyly, "You…up to you."
Yixian looked at Lie Qing secretly. She could see her sorrowful crimson eyes…
She sighed, "Our fates, our destinies…Ping'Er, I hope that you can forget us eventually…the sooner the better…"
Youxue was thinking, "I have made the right decision to back off…"
Lingfeng was sighing. How would she not know? One by one, they were all giving up on Yi Ping subtly even though they all had a place in their hearts for him. Even she herself was starting to have some doubts. "I may not have much time left too. I may not survive the upcoming battle with the determined Orthodox Clans. We can't even handle one Xiao Da, one Yuan Shao with ease and there are more than thirty major orthodox clans that have already gathered. The number of reclusive super exponents on the opposing sides is just too many…"
Not long ago, she had received word that even the Three Sages of the Orthodox Clans had returned to the martial fraternity and were on the side of the Honor Manor. The Three Sages were the Sword Sage, the Element Sage and the Martial Sage. They were the most powerful fighters of the martial fraternity in their time and did not meddle in the affairs of the martial fraternity for a long time. But for the three of them to retire out of their reclusion at the same time, it was difficult to believe what could possibly move them to do so.
Besides the Three Sages, there were many mysterious old fighters that had suddenly appeared in the Western Fraternity…
The Celestial Fairy, the Joyful Goddess and Lie Qing were not able to help her this time because Yixian the Celestial Fairy had to prepare for the forthcoming Divine Calamity. Her Divine Calamity was prematurely brought forward because she had extended the Icy Heavenly Tears to beyond the forbidden zone of the Tenth Level, a level that no one had ever been able to reach before!
When she had fought with Yuan Hao, the Celestial Fairy was forced to use the Tenth Level of the Icy Heavenly Tears and the Tenth level of the Divine Emerald Skill. And that brought forward the Divine Calamity…
Youxue suddenly interrupted her, "Lingfeng. What is the Heavenly Relic? Why didn't you tell us about it?"
Lingfeng was startled, "How did you know about the Heavenly Relic. Who…who told you about it?"
Youxue said, "Xiao Fei has told me. He told me the real reason why all the clans in the martial fraternity are on their way to the Holy Amalgamate Mountains is because of the Heavenly Relic."
She stole a glance at Lele before adding, "Even the Celestial Palace is no exception."
Even Lele was startled as she exclaimed, "You all know about the Heavenly Relic too?"
Yixian nodded, "I know…"
Everyone was startled. How did the Celestial Fairy who had spent decades in complete reclusion know about the Heavenly Relic?!
Yi Ping, Lie Qing and Youxue were the most bewildered as they asked, "What exactly is the Heavenly Relic?"
Yixian, Lele and Lingfeng looked hesitating at one another. It was because they were not sure who would start first and whether they should reveal it.
Yixian said gently, "Let me start then and tell what I know. I don't think I know as much as Lingfeng or Lele. I have almost forgotten about it."
She paused for a moment before saying, "This happened a long time ago. There were just three of us, Xiao Shuai, Han…Shaodong…and I…we were at the Holy Hex Sect."
Lingfeng was startled, "You…you know Xiao Shuai! You have been to the Holy Hex Sect?"
Yixian nodded gently, "We are old…friends. Xiao Shuai is the leader of our group in fact."
Youxue and Lingfeng glanced at one another in astonishment!
Yixian sighed softly, "He is the leader of our raiding group. One day, we sneaked into the Holy Hex Sect and entered its forbidden grounds."
Lingfeng was dizzy as she muttered, "No one could have entered the forbidden ground without raising an alarm. That's impossible…"
Yixian smiled gently, "Except for us. In this entire fraternity, nothing could stop the three of us. We had raided numerous martial clans, the unorthodox, the orthodox and the heretic clans. If you had known of the dangers and the close calls that we had with death together, testing our intelligence and limits to the breaking point, then you would eventually understand entering the forbidden ground of the Holy Hex Sect was actually just a simple task for the three of us."
No one had expected Yixian would have such a past. To them, she was the Emerald Mistress of the Eternal Ice Palace and no one would associate her with the Virtuous Palace. And that she had done such a outrageous act. This was a startling revelation!
Outageous act or not, that was in the past. Yixian was calm when she had said it and was not ashamed.
Her dull beautiful eyes seemed to return to the past as she smiled faintly.
She continued, "Inside the forbidden ground, we chanced upon the Heavenly Relic that the Holy Hex Sect was guarding closely. It was a just clunk of metal in a pit. I saw…the Holy Maiden and the Protégé Leader of the Holy Hex Sect. The Holy Maiden was dripping her blood on the Heavenly Relic. They were saying that once the Seven Stars have joined, it would also be the revival time for the Heavenly Relic. And to do so, it would require the pure negative intricacy energy of the Holy Maiden and her blood. We overheard that this Heavenly Relic is able to aid the practitioner to ascend to the heavens."
She paused for a moment before continuing, "None of us believe any of the nonsense. But Xiao Shuai had wanted to steal the Heavenly Relic. But the clunk of metal was impossibly heavy. Even with the combined strength of Han Shaodong and Xiao Shuai, they could not even bulge it an inch. It was only then we knew that this Heavenly Relic to be something special."
Yi Ping asked, "Xian'Er, you didn't help them to move it? Maybe with the three of you, you can carry the Heavenly Relic away!"
Yixian smiled gently at Yi Ping, "If two men of their internal strength caliber could not carry it, I may not be able to budge it too. You have no idea how profound is their martial skill at that time. Moreover…"
She paused for a while, "Moreover…at that time, I was concealing my true martial skills from them. They didn't know that I was from the Eternal Ice Palace…and they wanted to be the heroes. Even if we could budge it, there was no way for us to take the Heavenly Relic out without detection."
She smiled gently, "I didn't know that Xiao Shuai cannot forget about that Heavenly Relic all these years. That is all I know about the Heavenly Relic."
She looked at Lingfeng quietly. She had purposely withheld a part of what she had known as she did not know whether this was the right time to reveal it.
Lingfeng said, "What the Celestial Fairy has said, is the truth. This is the secret of the Heavenly Relic. Throughout the years, only the blood of the Holy Maiden of the Holy Hex Sect can revive the Heavenly Relic. It is because in order to do so, it will require the Holy Maiden to be chaste and practiced a type of pure negative intricacy heart formula, the Holy Pureness. This has been going on for many centuries. Even my brother does not believe the legends anymore until recently; the Heavenly Relic began to float and had become extremely light…"
She looked at the seven bright stars above, "That is also the time when these seven bright stars have started to appear as well. That is all."
Yi Ping asked, "Lele? What do you know?"
Lele smiled faintly, "Do you really want to know?"
Yi Ping said, "Of course we want to know. Hurry and tell us what you know. Maybe we can even avert this martial disaster."
Lele said uneasy, "This concerns the secrets of the heavens. If I tell you, you may risk shortening your life span and you mustn't tell anyone."
Youxue said coldly, "She's just unwilling to tell us. It is because even the Celestial Palace wants that Heavenly Relic."
Lie Qing glanced at Lele coldly, "Is that so?"
Lele sighed, "If you all insist to know…very well then."
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She hesitated for a while before saying, "It is said that when a Celestial managed to become a Sage or when a Sage has successful ascended to the heavens, they will leave behind a Heavenly Relic to aid future generations. The Heavenly Relic is like an ordinary clunk of heavy metal before its true form is revealed and it is said to be able to aid the practitioner to ascend the heavens. From what you have mentioned, it matched the characteristics of the Heavenly Relic alright. I didn't know that the Holy Hex Sect has a Heavenly Relic…"
Lingfeng asked, "You didn't know? Then why did you come to the Holy Hex Sect for?"
Lele was sheepish, "I think I have a mission…"
Yi Ping asked, "You think? What is your mission?"
Lele was trying very hard to recall her mission.
Youxue said, "I hope you be honest with us…"
Lie Qing said, "Don't betray the trust that we have in you…"
Yixian said gently, "We have already welcomed you as our sister…"
Lele said, "It is getting late. I think I am sleepy…"
Yixian said coldly, "You are not going anywhere."
Lele smiled bitterly, "If I tell you all, I don't know what my mission is. Would anyone of you believe me?"
Yi Ping looked calmly at her, "Lele, I believe you. I have always believed you."
Yixian, Lie Qing, Youxue and Lingfeng were silently saying, "Only Yi Ping will believe you…"
Lele was touched as she burst into tears, "I…really do not know. I ran out of the Celestial Palace! It is a just a cold and forbidding place. I will never want to go back there again!"
Everyone was startled. They had never expected Lele to burst into tears!
She began to relate what exactly happened.
Everyone was speechless as they heard Lele's account, "...….."
Lingfeng shook her head, "It is a lucky thing that Priest Bai Chongzhen and Priest Liu Qingcheng aren't here. They will surely faint on the same spot if they know that you are a fake Celestial Envoy."
Even Lie Qing was so startled that she muttered, "I thought that I am a good liar but you are better. What Celestial Messenger, Celestial Envoy…heavens! You…do I really know you as my sister in the past?"
Lele protested sheepishly, "I didn't actually lie right? At least the Jade Emperor didn't raise any objections. So I am really the Celestial Envoy."
Yixian smiled weakly.
Yi Ping was rubbing his nose because he thought that it was actually funny as he crackled, "Self-appointed Celestial Envoy? That is something new."
Lele looked annoyingly at Yi Ping.
Lele tried to distract them, "There is another Heavenly Relic at the Celestial Palace. Many years ago, the Jade Emperor had found one and he had used it to overcome the Divine Calamity. But ever since then, it had reverted to a clunk of useless metal. I have been trying from time to time to revive the Heavenly Relic. But now…"
She was suddenly frightful, "I have broken the rules of the Celestial Palace and have lost my chastity. Because the Heavenly Relic that the Jade Emperor possessed had already undergone the cleansing of the Divine Calamity, no mere mortals could revive it anymore. In the entire Celestial Palace, only I had the chaste body to attempt the revival ritual. But not anymore now."
Yi Ping clapped his hands, "Lele! Why didn't you tell us earlier?! We can retrieve the Heavenly Relic and help Xian'Er to overcome the Divine Calamity. Quick, let's us go now!"
Lele said quietly, "Things are not as simple or easy as what you have thought. There is a heavy price in using the Heavenly Relic, do you know?"
Yi Ping said solemnly, "I am not afraid of anything. I will do anything to save Xian'Er!"
Lele whispered softly, "If you do that, Lingfeng will die…"
Yi Ping was startled, "Why Lingfeng will die?"
Lele looked at Lingfeng, "Because she is the one that has revived the Heavenly Relic. Her pureness of heart has revived the Heavenly Relic. The Heavenly Relic is an artifact from the heavens. Those who are impure cannot revive the Heavenly Relic."
Yixian kept quiet. It was because she had already known, having overheard it.
Lele said, "I don't know what Lingfeng did to revive the Heavenly Relic. Since it has already been revived by her, if the Heavenly Relic is consumed by the Divine Calamity, she would surely die as well. Nothing is ever free. A life in exchange for a life. This is the order of the heavens' way."
She added, "The Holy Pureness is the correct heart intricacy formula to revive the Heavenly Relic. I know because I know the Holy Pureness too. But that blood part I think is something extra."
Lingfeng almost fainted as she muttered, "Holy crap. I have wasted so much of my blood over the years…"
Lingfeng had remembered that she had visited the secret chamber that housed the Heavenly Relic. At that time, she was very down, having just been separated from Yi Ping. As soon as she had touched the Heavenly Relic, it began to glow lightly and the usual heavy metal cluck suddenly became light…
Yi Ping said to Yixian and Lingfeng, "Xian'Er and Lingfeng, I will not let any of you die. We will always be together. I will not let the Divine Calamity claim Xian'Er and I will not let anyone lay their hands on that Heavenly Relic to claim your life, Lingfeng. Never! We will always be together."
Lingfeng shed a tear as she smiled, "So is that a confession of your declaration of love?"
Yi Ping was stunned, "I…I…"
Lele said, "That is what I have known. Maybe it is just a beautiful legend. No one knows if it is true. So don't take it to heart. But others from the Celestial Palace will not let Lingfeng off so lightly. They are desperate…."
Yi Ping was startled, "Isn't the Celestial Palace on our side?"
Lele smiled bitterly, "Maybe just the Jade Emperor but he had been very ill for a long time. The Celestial Palace had long fallen into the hands of the more aggressive and bloodthirsty Prime Celestials. None of them want to die after the Jade Emperor is gone and they will want the Heavenly Relic to become a true Celestial. Throughout the years, many of the weaker Celestials of the Celestial Palace had been sacrificed to keep the others alive. The Celestial Palace is not what it is anymore. Even the Jade Emperor can do nothing about it."
Lele took a forlorn look at Yi Ping. If she had not met Yi Ping, then eventually that would be her fate if she were to try to keep herself alive. But a chance happenstance with Yi Ping inside the Celestial Star underground palace, she had become a full Celestial like the Jade Emperor…
Yi Ping said with great determination, "Nevertheless, with the White Phoenix and the Divine Echo in my hands, I will protect all my love ones. I don't care how many they are, how strong they are. I will help Lingfeng's brother and destroyed the Heavenly Relic so that no one can ever harm Lingfeng again. And then I will come back and help Xian'Er to overcome the Divine Calamity."
He added, "There is no time to waste anymore. I…got to go now."
All the maidens were moved to tears, including Yixian.
Yixian sighed silently, "I…I finally understand what Yichi is trying to say to me but it is now too late…"
Lie Qing flew into Yi Ping's embrace suddenly as she sobbed, "Yi Ping! You…must come back alive. How I wish I can lend you a hand…if you can't beat them, you can run. You can just knock that Ji Wuzheng down if he refuses to run with you. You can steal the Heavenly Relic from him if he refused to part with it. Just be smart and don't be a hero…"
Yi Ping was startled by Lie Qing when she had suddenly flown into his embrace. He held her tightly as he sighed…
In the end, the most passionate person in their group was actually Lie Qing who was almost silent the entire night…
Lie Qing sobbed, "Promise me. Till the oceans vanish and the rocks crumble, we will never part. Come back alive! You really don't need to be a hero all the time…"
Yi Ping nodded, "I will…I promise. Qing'Er, I am so sorry. I have never really taken good care of you…"
Lie Qing cried, "What you did for me, are good enough. You already did many, many things for me. Rather, I did nothing for you but caused you endless trouble…I almost kill Youxue. I ruined Lele's wedding…I fought with Yixian, lost my internal strength and ruined Sister Yun. I did so many unwanted things…I am not worthy of you…"
Yi Ping comforted her, "No, it not because of you. Without you, I will never be united with Yixian. Without you, I will never be close to Yun'Er…everything you did, are good. I will be back for you…don't you worry…Qing'Er, help me to take care of Xian'Er…"
Youxue and Lele were weeping silently when they had heard Lie Qing's confession.
All of a sudden, there was a sharp pain in Yi Ping's heart.
Lie Qing gasped, "What's wrong?"
Yi Ping had immediately turned ashen but he said nothing of his discomfort, "The sooner we part, the sooner we will be together again. I promise you, Qing'Er, I'll be back…"
Lie Qing reluctantly let go of Yi Ping…
Lele was thinking silently, "All of you…alas…at this rate, you cannot advance to my state of divinity at any time soon. Lie Qing, you have won yourself a second chance and is a True Celestial now but you are still struck at the lowest staging. Unless you can overcome your emotions, you can never overcome any of the crises. Only Yixian understands it…what do I need to do, so that you can fully understand that we are not meant to be with Yi Ping?"
Lingfeng said, "You're really not saying farewell to Yun, Yu'Er and Mei'Er?"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly as he looked at Youxue, "It is too dangerous for them. Xiao Shuai will never let Yun'Er off. Yu'Er and Mei'Er are too young. I…don't want any of them to be in mortal dangers. Youxue, I rather you stay here instead…"
Youxue said melancholy, "I have already made up my mind. I will follow you to give you a helping hand. You don't have to worry for me. I can take care of myself. In the entire fraternity, there are just a handful that can be considered as my worthy opponent."
She had been so wronged about Yi Ping. She had thought that Yi Ping wanted to cancel the wedding because he could not decide who he really liked. It was because Yi Ping knew that he may not return alive…
And she was greatly moved by Lie Qing…
Yixian sighed softly, "Youxue…"
Youxue smiled as she held her hands, "I know you meant well but I am afraid that this Eternal Sealed Ring you have to hold it a little longer. Things are not as bad as it seems. We promise to return together."
Yi Ping muttered, "Youxue…Lingfeng…Let's us move in haste now!"
Lele reminded them gently, "Yi Ping, Youxue and Lingfeng, remember the Celestial Star Formation that I have taught you. It is also effective with just three people…"
Yi Ping nodded gently before he turned away and walked down the hill.
Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele stood on the hill top for a long time, long after Yi Ping, Lingfeng and Youxue had disappeared from view. They were all thinking of the same thing; if only they could be with Yi Ping, no matter if it was a certain death or not…
All of a sudden, Lele was nausea and she almost lost her footing but she was caught by Yixian.
Yixian asked as she held her wrist, "Are you alright?"
Lele smiled, "I'm alright. It is just that the night is getting cold and I am thinking of something else…"
All of a sudden, Yixian was startled as she said gently. "Weird. There are two heart pulses on your wrist. You…you are pregnant?"
Lele was startled as she quickly said, "That's impossible…Celestials are not suppose…"
Lie Qing had immediately examined her pulse as she interrupted, "There is no doubt about it…"
Yixian said coolly, "My Joyful Goddess, my good sister Lele. How do you expect us to believe anything that you have ever said?"
Lele sighed softly, "I…I have heard from others too. You must know that there are just only a few Celestials and it is hard to verify things…"
Lie Qing interrupted, "Oh heavens…"