Yi Ping could feel a painful sensation in his heart as he struggled to walk. He had broken into a cold sweat as soon he had walked out of Yixian's sight.
He was thinking of Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele at the same time. He was thinking of Lele's farewell words, "Yi Ping, Youxue and Lingfeng, remember the Celestial Star Formation that I have taught you. It is also effective with just three people…"
Even though he was in pain but he was smiling fondly as he thought, "Lele…and you are telling us a few days ago at the Grand Hall of Longevity that the Celestial Star Formation requires a minimum of five…you can't differentiate three and five? I take it as three then. If it doesn't work, then I come back and settle the score with you. You're like a little girl…"
The Celestial Star Formation indeed required a minimum of three. Lele was trying to drag everyone into practicing her Celestial Star Formation that she had so painstaking learnt in the Celestial Annihilating Star Formation.
What Yi Ping and the others did not know, Lele had overcome the Divinity Calamity when she was very young with the aid of the Jade Emperor. Her time of activity was actually very little. Altogether she was not more than twenty, spending most of her time in a slumber to conserve what little strength she had after the Divine Calamity. She was actually very lonely and had no one to talk to…
He was walking hastily because he did not want Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele to see this sight.
Lingfeng and Youxue were alarmed.
Lingfeng quickly said, "Yi Ping, what's wrong? You…have not totally recovered from your internal injuries yet? Alas, that is an oversight…no one could recover their internal strength so speedily. Don't tell me, you forcible used your internal strength when you shouldn't…"
Youxue helped to support Yi Ping as she looked at him with equal anxiety, "You…are you alright?"
Yi Ping smiled weakly, "I don't know. I'll be fine. I don't have internal injuries. It just that…it just that my heart is experiencing some discomfort…"
Lingfeng checked his pulses as she heaved a sign of relief, "Everything is normal…if it is a heart problem, then there is nothing I can do to help. More likely it is an emotion problem. You're a lecher. Stop thinking of girls and you'll be alright…"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "Lingfeng, I'm really alright now. It works!"
Lingfeng was speechless as she rebuked him gently, "Hmph! So you are just pulling my leg. If I don't beat you up, then it will be hard to suppress the anger in my heart…don't you dodge…you such a lecher. I will teach you a lesson. I still can't believe that you and Lele…I don't know what honey tricks you have used to trick the Joyful Goddess but it won't work on me…"
Yi Ping flushed, "No, I didn't Lingfeng…"
She adds, "So you get a reaction from them and not from me?"
Yi Ping quickly said, "Oh no. I still got a slight pain when I think of you but it is not as painful when I am thinking of them."
She muttered, "You lecher…shut up."
Yi Ping asked, "Lingfeng, what's wrong? You're….alright? Is it because you are attacked by rage emotions? You shouldn't get upset so easily. It isn't good for you…"
Lingfeng gave Yi Ping a kick as she called to Youxue, "Sister Youxue, what are you waiting for? I can't believe that you can listen to all his rubbish and still be so calm?"
Youxue smiled lightly…
Like Yixian and her mother, she had practiced the Emotionless Rhyme for as long as she could remember. Moreover, the Virtuous Palace was a cold heartless place with little affections for anyone. Her only friends were Ding Yun and Xiao Fei, her cousin who she looked up as her older brother.
By all appearances, Youxue always had a cold demeanor and was forbidden. That did not changed even when she had escaped from the Virtuous Palace.
The real her, was full of affections in her heart. It is just that she did not how to display it.
Her smile may be dainty but that already spoke volumes of her gladness and the happiness in her eyes!
She had already given her heart to Yi Ping and vowed to be with him silently. If Yi Ping could be happy, she would be happy too. By now, she already knew what type of a person Yi Ping was. Many times, she had secretly wished that they would be back to the Ice Cavern where they had spent together for more than three months…
Lie Qing and Ding Yun had shared the secrets of the Invincible Divine Force with her. But it was not possible to dissipate her Divine Virtuous Force and replaced it with the Invincible Divine Force as she had advanced too far ahead. There would be severe consequences if she were to dissipate her martial force; she may even lose her Golden Invincible Skill and her Icy Heavenly Tears that she had so painstakingly mastered.
She had taken a path that no one had ever walked; utilizing two martial forces at the same time and subtly balancing both.
The golden rejuvenation pills that she had consumed were able to grow her Divine Virtuous Force but caused an imbalance to her Icy Heavenly Tears. This caused her martial growth to slow down considerably and unable to advance any further. But a chance happenstance in the Ice Cavern, once again revived the strength of her Icy Heavenly Tears.
When she was grievously injured, Lie Qing had imparted her Invincible Divine Force intricate energy into her, advancing her Divine Virtuous Force to a new level. Moreover, Yixian had also imparted to her all the missing parts of the Icy Heavenly Tears when she was grievously injured and saved her life. This caused a breakthrough to her Icy Heavenly Tears as well!
She may not have known it yet but her present martial progression was nearly on par with Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele! What she lacked was their state of divinity to defeat them. In a real fight, martial skills alone were not the only decisive factor, state of divinities played a big part too in the form of willpower, determination, perception, reflexes, flexibility and how fast a martial practitioner was able to recover their martial strength.
Take Xiao Da as an example, he may be a very a powerful exponent and his martial power was extraordinary. Even against more powerful fighters, Xiao Da could last for a long time but he was unlucky to meet Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele who had quickly exploited his weakness; he was lured into carelessness by the seemingly vulnerable Yixian the Celestial Fairy who could conceal her malevolent air. Lele was even more quick thinking as she knocked him down with one hit in the most unlikely of all places.
That was also why Xiao Shuai and Yuan Shao were such difficult opponents to deal with. Their state of divinity was profound and they would never let themselves be lured into complacency.
All of a sudden, Youxue said. "Be wary. There are people ahead of us."
Yi Ping and Lingfeng stopped in their tracks immediately as they scanned the darkness.
Youxue said quietly, "You don't have to hide anymore. We know you are there."
Two maidens in a black finery dress walked out from the darkness!
It was Mei'Er and Yu'Er!
Mei'Er said, "Youxue, how did you discover us?"
Yu'Er sighed, "We are already trying our best to conceal ourselves yet you can still discover us."
Youxue laughed softly, "Next time…next time…don't use any perfume…maybe I can't sniff you if you don't."
But Youxue was still looking at the darkness. Aside from Yu'Er and Mei'Er, there were still others…
Mei'Er was startled, "Oh alas, I am so careless…"
Yi Ping was stunned as he stammered, "Mei'Er, Yu'Er…why are you here?"
Yu'Er walked to him and looked gently at him, "Are you thinking of running away just like the last time?"
She began to sigh softly, "I have only heard of the bride running away but never the groom."
Yi Ping sighed, "Yu'Er, go back. Do you know how dangerous the journey can be? We are not going for any sightseeing…"
All of a sudden, Yu'Er held his hands gently. "Mast…Master. You are not only my Master but is also my husband. Surely you are not thinking of abandoning Mei'Er and me?"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "Of course I won't…I…never thought of doing so."
Yu'Er said, "Then, shouldn't we go through weal and woes together?"
Mei'Er said, "That's right!"
Yi Ping looked at Yu'Er and Mei'Er, "All of you…"
All of a sudden, Yi Ping was stunned to see Ding Yun, Nangong Le, Qiu Wufeng and Gongsun Jing walking into their sight of view.
Gongsun Jing said, "Maiden Ding is right. You will indeed try to confront the Honor Manor alone. Have you forgotten that we are still brothers? How can we allow you to go alone?"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "Because we are brothers, all the more, I shouldn't have involved all of you. It is far too dangerous."
He took a glance at Lingfeng before saying, "Moreover, it is personal."
Qiu Wufeng laughed, "Don't forget, I still have a score to settle with the Heartless Scholar."
Gongsun Jing said, "And I have a score to settle with Gu Tianle and the Honor Manor as well!"
Ding Yun said quietly, "Have you forgotten what you promise me in the valley? As your wife, shouldn't I follow you everywhere?"
Nangong Le laughed aloud, "Right, right. I just cannot stand that Zuo Tianyi for injuring me. I am going to bash him."
Gongsun Jing whispered, "When did Zuo Tianyi injure you? You are taking things too personal, right?"
Nangong Le whispered, "I just can't stand his arrogance and for betraying us."
Even though they were whispering but everyone could hear it loud and clear in the silent night.
Yi Ping sighed, "I guess everyone's minds are already made up. It is pointless to urge further."
Ding Yun smiled, "That's right."
Youxue smiled at Ding Yun, "I know you must be here…"
Ding Yun walked quietly to Youxue, "The Virtuous Palace won't let us off, no matter where we go to and you are like my little sister and my only kin."
Xiao Youxue nodded quietly.
Ding Yun sighed silently, "No matter how bad Xiao Shuai is, I cannot allow the two of you to come to blows. I don't want you to live in regret for the rest of your life…"
All of a sudden, she froze as she noticed that Yi Ping was looking at her.
Ding Yun asked, "Is something wrong?"
Yi Ping flushed, "Nothing…erm…"
Yi Ping quickly tried to change to another topic by saying, "One, two, three…nine. It seems that there are nine of us. It is just nice for us to form the Celestial Star Formation?"
Qiu Wufeng smiled most bitterly, "I have seen many formations but this Celestial Star Formation is too difficult…"
Gongsun Jing nodded. Even though he was listening while Lele was guiding all of them, he could not follow the movements. He was glad that he was injured and was unable to participate in the practice. It was because Lele was gently rebuking everyone incessantly.
Yi Ping said, "Let's decide who is in the Inner Star Formation and who is in the Outer Star Formation…"
But before he could finished, everyone begun to walk rapidly away, leaving a bewildered Yi Ping behind!
The Celestial Star Formation was made up of three groups with each group consisting of three to five participators.
The first group in the Celestial Star Formation, assuming that there were only three, formed the Inner Star Formation. The second group and the third group formed the Outer Celestial Star Formations.
Usually the leader of each of the group was also the better fighter than the other two. This was to ensure that the leader would take care of the other two and forced the opponent to be trapped by the leader.
If the opponents thought that they had a better chance getting rid of the weaker fighters in the formation first, then they were making a terrible mistake. It was because the entire Celestial Star Formation was an enticing sword formation to lure the opponent into attacking the weaker fighters in the formation!
Lele had said, "In the nine circle formation, the Inner Star Formation will ideally consist of Yi Ping as leader, together with Yu'Er and Mei'Er. The second Outer Star Formation will ideally consist of the Celestial Fairy, Lie Qing and me. And of course the leader is me."
Lie Qing and Yixian exchanged glances with each other…
Lele noticed it immediately as she hastily said, "Since I know the entire layout of the Celestial Star Formation, it is naturally that I'll be the leader so that nothing will go wrong."
Yi Ping inhaled lightly as he muttered, "Since I know nothing about the Celestial Star Formation, won't it be a complete disaster if I am a leader?"
All of a sudden, Yi Ping kept quiet because he could sense a killing malevolent intent coming from Lele!
Lele cleared her throat lightly, "The third Outer Star Formation will ideally consist of Youxue, Yun and Lingfeng. Lingfeng should be the leader of the third Outer Star Formation…"
Lingfeng was startled. Her martial skills were beneath that of Youxue and Ding Yun.
Ding Yun was close to Lele and she mustered her courage to ask, "Sister Le, this makes no sense. Shouldn't Youxue be the leader?"
Lele explained, "Lingfeng has the best swiftness skill in the group. Her role is to entice and distract the opponents. Moreover, she is the most intelligent and her reaction is also the swiftness. She will make an excellent leader and tactician for the third Outer Star Formation."
Lingfeng smiled alluring, "I am so honored then."
Youxue secretly smiled. It was because she knew that Lingfeng was being sarcastic.
Other than her, Lie Qing was also trying hard not to laugh aloud for she was thinking. "This is really so funny. I don't think who the leader is, who is in which group really makes that much of a difference. It is the role that is in the formation that makes the difference. But the way she deploying us is really so interesting."
Yi Ping asked, "Isn't the second Outer Star Formation grouping overdoing it? Having the three of you in that group is way too imbalance…"
Lele chuckled softly, "What do you know? Only then will the Celestial Star Formation be perfect!"
She started to draw a circle on the ground and throwing pebbles on it while pointing out, "The standing position of each and every one of us is a triangle formation, overlapping one another. You can see that even though we are in the same group but we are exactly standing in an equivalent distance away from one another at the edge of the circle."
Yi Ping said, "Then that is still considered to be in the same group? Everyone seems to be standing so far away from one another except for the Inner Star Formation…"
Lele giggled, "That is why it is a called a formation so that we won't be identified easily!"
She raised her finger and pointed at the circle that was on the ground, "Now, if group two and group three intersect at one another, what did you see now?"
Yi Ping stared at the intersection for a while.
Lele asked, "So did you see anything?"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "I see nothing…"
Lele said, "Of course you shouldn't see anything. I forget to number everyone's position. Let me see…"
Yi Ping groaned and was momentarily speechless…
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Yu'Er and Mei'Er were giggling until Yixian gave them a stern discreet look.
Lele exclaimed excitedly, "There! Now do you see? First numbering is me, second numbering is Yixian and third numbering is Lie Qing. Forth numbering is Lingfeng, fifth numbering is Youxue and sixth numbering is Lie Qing. Lingfeng is between Yixian and Lie Qing, Youxue is between Yixian and me while Ding Yun is between Lie Qing and me. Do you see everything perfectly now?"
Yi Ping was startled, "This is…I see it now. Anyone that tries to attack Lingfeng will be in turn attacked by Yixian and Lie Qing…"
Lele said, "That is right. Anyone that tries to attack Lingfeng will be attacked and will be trapped in a pincer attack. And Lingfeng can further lure the attacker into the Inner Star Formation, trapping and cutting the attacker off from his group. We can lure all our opponents inside, restraint all their movements and at the same time support one another!"
Yi Ping clapped his hands, "Lele, that is brilliant! Then we have nothing to fear from the Dark Mono Formation! I have heard that it is a deadly sword formation and I am worried about it. Now I don't have to worry anymore."
Lele beamed excitedly, "Let's practice it immediately then! Let's start with the formation steps first."
Yi Ping nodded eagerly.
Yixian looked at Youxue secretly, Youxue was looking at Ding Yun secretly and Ding Yun was looking at Lie Qing secretly. They could only smile bitterly at Yi Ping's naivety.
It was because they knew how difficult it was to co-ordinate everyone as one in the formation in such a short notice. The bigger a formation was, the more difficult it was. And moreover, the Celestial Star Formation appeared to be a high level formation, requiring nine equally highly skilled practitioners to be truly effective.
Lele said, "Gongsun Jing, Qiu Wufeng and that Nangong whatever, don't idle there and practiced the Star Celestial Formation as well."
Nangong Le smiled bitterly, "But I haven't recovered from my injuries yet…and my name is Nangong Le and not Nangong whatever…"
Lele interrupted, "That's why you are in the reserve and all the more, you should practice twice as hard as the chosen or else how can you lure the opponents into the Celestial Star Formation? Now Nangong whatever, are you listening?"
Nangong Le was stunned, "I lure the opponents into the Celestial Star Formation?"
Lele said, "Since you are not good enough, of course there is a need for someone to distract the opponent and lure them into the Celestial Star Formation. The rest of us got to stick with the formation steps and unless the opponent willingly entered the Celestial Star Formation, there is naturally a need for someone to lure the opponent inside and that someone is you, Nangong whatever."
Nangong Le stammered, "Hold it, why is the way that you are stating it, I seem to be the cannon fodder? And my name is not Nangong whatever."
Lele said, "I don't like someone to share the same name as me. Your protégé master is now my Celestial Messenger and even has to listen to me. Therefore, I have decided to change your name."
Nangong Le was about to protest when Gongsun Jing stepped on his foot!
Qiu Wufeng laughed softly, "Brother Nangong, I will advise you not to protest further. It will only worsen your current predicaments."
Nangong Le sighed, "Now I really regret joining the Tranquil Clan…"
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