75 The Celestial Liege Again!
Yi Ping and his female companions followed the old man through a hidden mountain path that was surrounded by shades of ancient towering trees. If the old man was not leading them, they would never have found out about this mountain path.
Just as they had turned around a bend, they weare astonished to see a beautiful white and blue palace that was built along the cliff. The only way up to that palace was a series of wooden platform along the steep cliff.
Yunzi commented softly to herself, "This must be a daunting construction, requiring a lot of planning and skilled craftsmen."
Yi Ping had overheard her and he was sighing, "I hope that such a construction is without the loss of any lives."
Shen Xingyue glanced secretly at Yi Ping and her eyes were shining with resonant at his compassion.
Lingfeng nodded as she looked gently at him, "Nevertheless since this palace has already been completed, we should admire the artisans that put their efforts into making this possible so that future generations would be in awe of their skills."
Youxue was in no mood to appreciate the grandeur of this hidden place. It was because she knew how worried Yi Ping was and that a dangerous foe awaited them in that beautiful palace.
Not long ago, they had discovered the secrets of the Celestial Palace. They were a group of Dark Celestials that had to resort to feeding on the vital blood of martial exponents in order to nourish themselves.
She had personally witnessed the martial prowess of the Celestial Liege and it was only through pure luck that they were lucky to survive that encounter.
They were all wary of the old man and their surroundings.
Before long, they were already on the steep wooden platform of the cliff and had entered the iron gate of the palace.
The palace was large, much larger than the exact appearances on the outside.
The weird thing was, there was not a single guard or people everywhere in sight!
Yunzi was anxious. The entire atmosphere was too quiet for her liking. The sheer size of this place would require many to maintain it. The courtyards were cleanly swept, the walls were well painted and everything was too orderly. But there was not a single person other than the old man in sight!
Instead of bringing them to a residence hall, the old man seemed to be taking them on a slow tour and they were now in a picturesque garden.
Youxue said coldly, "Old man, where are you taking us? This looks like the perfect place for an ambush isn't it? You don't want to dirty your place with our blood so you are taking us to a fitting place for our execution?"
Even Yi Ping was also getting impatient, "Where is the Celestial Liege? Why is that he got my child? Where is…"
Yunzi touched Yi Ping lightly on his shoulder as she said gently, "It could just be a ruse. With the combined martial skills of the Joyful Goddess, Celestial Fairy and the Heavenly Temptress, it is unlikely for anyone to defeat them."
She lied of course and would like to believe it herself but the Celestial Palace was the sacred ground of some of the most powerful exponents in the martial fraternity. So far they had only met two of them, the Joyful Goddess and the Celestial Liege. Even with just the two of them, they were not easy to handle!
Shen Xingyue said in a low voice, "Be careful. There are others here."
All of a sudden, the old man stopped short of a bridge that was over a man-made lake and said. "They are here."
"Good, I have been waiting."
It was unmistakably the voice of the Celestial Liege!
Yi Ping immediately clenched his fists!
Even before he had approached them, a powerful martial force could be felt and the intense pressure of his martial force was suffocating everyone!
Almost immediately, a handsome middle-age man with long white hair appeared at the other end of the bridge and there was a young petite female attendant behind him.
The young petite female attendant was carrying an infant in her arms!
What was striking about the young petite female attendant was that like the Celestial Liege, her eyes were also crimson and her white was silver!
They were both Dark Celestials!
The baby began to cry aloud as though she could sense her father presence and she wanted to get his attention.
Yi Ping turned pale immediately. It was because he had recognized from her cries that the infant was indeed his baby daughter!
The infant's mother was Lele the Joyful Goddess and she was born with crimson eyes that were unlike others.
The infant was also very special. There was a strong bond between them and Yi Ping was able to recognize her empathically.
Yi Ping was now trembling.
It was not fear but anger that had caused him to tremble.
Shen Xingyue was unhappy to see the Dark Celestials and her malevolent air surged, instantly displaying her killing intent!
The Celestial Liege spotted her and he froze in his tracks as he looked at her gray eyes, "It seems that we have an uninvited guest. Besides the Sage King and the Jade Emperor, there is another highly attained Celestial in the martial fraternity?"
Shen Xingyue hummed softly, "Why did you invite us here for?"
The Celestial Liege laughed as he looked at Yi Ping, "We have met once again, Yi Ping. The last fight we have is indecisive. I have finally figured out why I am unable to overcome you the last time…"
Yi Ping shouted angrily, "Return my child to me now! And what did you do with Lele and the others?!"
The Celestial Liege said coldly, "Yi Ping, only if you are able defeat me then I will consider returning your baby and tell you their whereabouts. What do you say?"
Just as Yi Ping was about to step forward, Yunzi panicky said to him. "Ping'Er, don't handle him alone. Let's us attack as a group. He may not be able to win against so many of us."
Youxue nodded as she said coldly, "It seems that he hasn't forgotten about the slap that I have given him the last time!"
The Celestial Liege looked at her with interest and he was smiling, "I have been looking forward to repaying you as well."
Lingfeng had already displayed a martial defensive posture as she hummed coldly, "The same goes for us as well!"
The Celestial Liege laughed, "You are the Holy Maiden. You know I won't kill you. Your blood is too valuable for us."
Lingfeng replied coldly, "But I can't say the same for your blood which I am going to spill on the ground."
The Celestial Liege smiled with an arrogant smirk, "You can try but you won't succeed."
Shen Xingyue had already stepped forward and was at the bridge, "You are a practitioner of the Celestial Force?"
It was because she had already sensed the absorbing force of the Celestial Force around him!
The Celestial Liege was slightly taken aback.
This maiden could actually stand casually on the bridge without any hint of tumbling and unaffected by his powerful Celestial Force!
He nodded coldly, "Yes, this is the Celestial Force."
Shen Xingyue said coldly, "Good! The Celestial Force is one of the most epitome divine skills. I would like to know how my Divine Rejuvenate Force will fare against yours!"
However the Celestial Liege ignored her and said, "Yi Ping, do you dare to take me one to one first? You don't have any choice. If you can defeat me, then I will return your baby to you."
As to make his point, he began to pat the infant that was in the arms of the female attendant lightly as he said. "She is so adorable. Unfortunate, soon she will lose her life because her father dare not take me one on one."
Yi Ping raised his martial force with his Absolute Equilibrium Force as he forced himself to walk towards the bridge, resisting the irresistible weakening drain of the Celestial Force. He said to Shen Xingyue, "Xingyue, please step back. This fight is between us."
Shen Xingyue was melancholy as she stared at the Celestial Liege with bloodshot eyes. "Despicable. If you still have any honor, don't use the infant as a hostage!"
She had already hinted to Yi Ping that the Celestial Force was an epitome divine skill during the time that she was in the Ascension Sect. But the determination in his eyes was unwavering so she stepped back reluctantly with a heavy heart!
Youxue, Lingfeng and Yunzi were all equally upset and their frustrations were shown in their eyes but they dared not make a single move because the infant was everything to Yi Ping!
The female attendant that was beside the Celestial Liege had also stepped back. The air was filled with the suffocating air of martial force that threatened to knock down the weaker opponents that dare to even approach the Celestial Liege!
Yunzi sighed. It was exactly the same as the last time. It was only their wishful thinking that they could approach such a tidal force and move unrestricted. With a soft sigh, she lifted her martial power to display the Invincible Divine Force as three beaming visible blue spheres surrounded her.
Youxue had also surrounded herself with the Divine Virtuous Force as she looked quietly at the Celestial Liege as she stole a look at Shen Xingyue who had nodded in return. They were not going to idle and simply watched what was going to happen next!
Shen Xingyue and Youxue were both experts in speed attacking techniques and were known for their swiftness movement skill too. At the first opportunity, they were going to grab the infant. Therefore they decided to wait until the Celestial Force that was hindering them could sufficiently be weakened before they made their move.
When Yi Ping had stepped on the bridge, the Celestial Force of the Celestial Liege had already been increased a few folds!
This forced Lingfeng to slide backward as her martial power was insufficient to resist it.
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Her Holy Amalgamate Force was a variant of the Celestial Force and was much weaker than the original.
Shen Xingyue looked at Lingfeng curiously. Sometimes she wondered if she was faking her martial skills given that she was the Heaveness.
Meanwhile, the old man that had led them here was already sitting at a nearby pavilion and he had taken out a pipe and he was smoking from his pipe casually!
Shen Xingyue was wary of him. He was no ordinary exponent for sure even if his eyes were not crimson. Celestial divinity may be related to martial progression but that did not necessary mean that a Celestial could not be killed by a mortal. It was the same theory that a highly skilled martial exponent could also be killed by a weaker exponent. Resolve, luck, physical condition and state of divinity played a major part too!
While they were being drained physically by the Celestial Force of the Celestial Liege in an effort to maintain their stand here, that old man was conserving his strength at a distance!
For him to appear so relax was an indication of his state of divinity. How could an old servant not be concerned by his master's wellbeing and could simply walked off without saying a word?
Moreover back at the Borderland Town when they had first met him, she had only detected him only when he was very near. Given her Celestial Divinity, there was scarcely anyone that could do so anymore!
Therefore that was why she was wary of this old man!
As for the petite maiden that was standing on the other side of the bridge, she was too composed and did not appear to be concerned that they were a threat. That should not be the case because there were five of them here and all of them were a Celestial!
For all her young appearances, she was probably centuries old and was a super exponent as well!
The Celestial Palace had already existed for centuries without any external threats. The number of secret martial skills that had been collected by them far exceeded all the other martial clans!
The Celestial Liege was already waiting for Yi Ping with an opening stance as he said coldly, "The last time that we have fought, it was a contest of internal strength and martial power. I realized much later that you have only won because you could negate the draining effect of my Celestial Force. That was so arrogant of me the last time. But this time, we are going to fight for real."
Yi Ping replied coldly, "You didn't turn over a new leaf from the last time that we have met. Evil will not triumph over good."
The Celestial Liege laughed, "I only saying that because Qing'Er is there."
He was referring to Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress.
Yi Ping clenched his fists, "You are a hypocrite!"
While Yi Ping was scolding the Celestial Liege, he had already moved in and attacked him with his Divine Horizon Hands!
The Celestial Liege immediately changed his palm stance into a finger stance as the two super martial exponents clashed furiously!
As they clashed, outbursts after outbursts of furious martial force ripped around them that even the solid bridge was trembling and the waters in the lake had turned into a whirlpool!
The onlookers were all forced to take several steps back as the martial outbursts were lashing too furious at the center!
Yi Ping could feel a burst of fiery windforce negating his Divine Horizon Hands each time he had exchanged a blow with the Celestial Liege. He was astonished that his Divine Horizon Hands that had never failed him would encounter such a powerful martial force that even his hands were now trembling after they had exchanged just thirty blows!
Shen Xingyue was startled as she called out panicky, "Yi Ping, that is the Phenomenon Finger Skill! Be careful!"
She had instantly recognized the finger technique of the Celestial Liege as a lost divine skill of the Celestial Phenomenon Sect!
The Divine Horizon Hands was a powerful martial skill that could increase the martial force of the practitioner several times but it was also an extremely tiring skill. If Yi Ping did not have the martial force of the Absolute Equilibrium Force, then he would have already exhausted himself by now and would have been overcome by the Celestial Liege!
The Celestial Liege was surprised that Yi Ping was able to exchange more than thirty blows against his Phenomenon Finger!
He had deliberately used a finger skill against Yi Ping because he was also wary of the other opponents. Finger Skills were a natural nemesis of palm skills and that allowed him to conserve his martial strength.
Yi Ping had broken into a cold sweat as they exchanged hurried powerful blows. Such was their martial exchanges that the entire bridge was swerving!
All of a sudden, the Celestial Liege sensed a weakening in Yi Ping's resolve and he increased his martial power. Immediately his Phenomenon Finger went through the defenses of the Divine Horizon Hands and struck Yi Ping on his chest!
The strike of the Celestial Liege martial force was so powerful that the onlookers could see an explosive burst of martial force bursting forth from Yi Ping's back!
Immediately, Shen Xingyue, Lingfeng, Youxue and Yunzi gasped at the same time!
Just as the Celestial Liege was grinning conceitedly, he did not expect that Yi Ping would actually have the strength to retaliate with his deadly Asper Horizon Hand as he received a heavy impact on his chest at the same time!
The Asper Horizon Hand, a secret martial technique of the Divine Horizon Hands had unique characteristics that marked it differently. Such was its rippling martial power that when it was used, a shrieking implosion would be heard!
Both men were flung to the other side of the bridge, followed by the collapse of the bridge that could no longer bear the dissipating power of their martial force as it rippled throughout the vicinity!
Lingfeng and Yunzi immediately grabbed Yi Ping as he stumbled back.
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he was held by them as he lifted his vital energies with the Divine Revelation Skill. Aided by the Emptiness Translucence, he quickly purged the pure positive intricate energy of the Celestial Force out of his body!
He sighed softly, "Lucky!"
The injuries that he had received were not light but before he could steady himself, Shen Xingyue and Xiao Youxue had already displayed their epitome swiftness movements towards the other side of the bridge!
Not even the fallen bridge could hinder them from jumping over the lake!
Xiao Youxue had already raised her hand in a downward swing as she aimed for the forehead of the Celestial Liege while Shen Xingyue was seen reaching against the petite attendant and trying to snatch the infant from her!
Yi Ping was shouting panicky, "Back! You are not his match!"
But it was already too late.
The Celestial Liege had lifted up his sleeve with his martial force and swept Youxue aside!
At the same time, Shen Xingyue was forced to withdrawn her intricate strokes because she did not want to hurt the infant and the petite attendant was not as weak as she had thought. Shen Xingyue sighed at her failure and she was beside Youxue in an instant as she reached out to help Youxue to her feet!
The Celestial Liege looked at Youxue as he smiled, "Are you alright? You shouldn't have tried to attack me while I was down. It is a lucky thing that I am able to restraint myself."
The Asper Horizon Hand did not seem to have seriously hurt him. His Celestial Force was indeed formidable!
Youxue looked at the Celestial Liege coldly as she said with disdain, "Who needs you to restraint yourself?"
All of a sudden, the Celestial Liege coughed out a bout of bad blood. It was because he had overtly exerted himself when Youxue had forced a surprise attack on him. But other than that, it seemed that his injuries were light and he was smiling conceitedly.
On the other hand, Yi Ping had suffered a more serious internal injury but he had forced himself to step forward. "This fight has not ended, am I right?"
The Celestial Liege smiled, "That is right. But in your present state, can you fight?"
Yi Ping was trembling and his eyes had turned bloodshot, "I only want to know this. What have you done to Lele, Lie Qing, Yixian, Mei'Er and to Yu'Er?"
The Celestial Liege hummed coldly, "I will only tell you if you are able to defeat me."
Shen Xingyue had already lost patience and had already mustered her martial power as she was wrapped herself with the Divine Rejuvenate Force, causing her real self to be distorted as wavering shockwaves of her intricate energy in all directions.
She was really, really upset and had already drawn out the Blue Heavens Divine Sword from her scabbard as she said coldly, "I don't care for your martial honor. I don't care for any agreements with the Dark Celestials. Firstly, you shouldn't have taken Yi Ping's baby as your hostage. Secondly, you shouldn't have injured Yi Ping. Today, I am going to take your head!"
Without a word more, she had flown with startling speed towards the Celestial Liege as she raised the Blue Heavens Divine Sword.
Her speed was so astonishing that the blue aura of the beaming Blue Heavens left behind a trace of wavering blue hues behind that were shaped like the wings of the blue phoenix!
But before she could reach the Celestial Liege, the old man that was at the pavilion had traversed next to her with equally astonishing speed as he struck her on her shoulder blade, instantly flinging her onto the ground with a thunderous impact, sending rocks and earth flying in all directions!
Yi Ping was stunned as he quickly rushed to her!
Shen Xingyue was trembling as she looked at Yi Ping with a startled look. It was because she had never expected anyone to be able to interrupt her while she was on her move. Only a Transverse Level Celestial would be able to do so!
Even though she had landed with a tremendous impact, she was not too seriously injured as she had the protection of her Divine Rejuvenate Force but still, she was badly shaken.
She looked at the old man and gasped in disbelief, "Just who are you?!"
The old man looked at her coldly before he replied, "You have come here to look for the Celestial Palace and yet you are asking who I am? I am the Jade Emperor and I am the grandmaster of the Celestial Palace."
Yi Ping, Yunzi, Lingfeng, Youxue and Shen Xingyue were all stunned!
They had never expected that the Jade Emperor to be here!
Shen Xingyue said coldly, "I have not lost yet. Since you are here, good! I shall exterminate you with my sword!"
The old man hummed coldly at her claims.
Yunzi whispered, "His eyes are not crimson and his hair isn't completely silver. Yet he claims to be the Jade Emperor. How do we know if it is true?"
Yi Ping was solemn. It was because he had just witnessed the martial skills of this old man. Even if he was not the Jade Emperor, he was not to be taken lightly. And they were now facing two super exponents instead of one!
The old man that had claimed to be the Jade Emperor pointed at Yi Ping, "Since you are here, I will not disappoint you. If you are able to defeat me, I will not only return your child to you but I will also give you the Heavenly Relic. What do you think?"
Yi Ping was trembling as he asked, "Lele, Yixian…where are they? What have you done with them?! You will release them?"
The Jade Emperor said coldly, "Even if I want to, I won't be able to. I have already feasted on them!"
Yi Ping was stunned as he stumbled backward in a daze!