133 The Goddess Theocracy
When Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man had stepped into the terrace platform of the Golden Ascension Hall, Yi Ping was astonished at the sight of the number of celestial practitioners; thousands of celestial practitioners had gathered and they were all crowding outside the Golden Ascension Hall.
They were all waiting excitedly for the outcome of their celestial clans' divine lot for the Stellar Sanctuary and were not deterred by the heavy winds nor were they dampened by the constant tremors!
But when Yi Ping had stepped into the terrace platform of the Golden Ascension Hall, he was immediately surrounded by a large number of celestial practitioners who were eager to take a look at him!
"He is the Lord of the Tranquil City!"
"He is the one that has defeated the Immortal Saint of Swords!"
"He is the one that has defeated the Mad Conqueror!"
"He is the one that has tamed the Ascension Goddess?"
"He is the chosen of the Heaveness?"
"I have never seen anyone with such righteous air before…"
The commotions were chaotic and they were all rushing for a closer look at the Lord of the Tranquil City.
This caused Yi Ping to be awkward as he looked at the Universal Old Man.
The Universal Old Man muttered with a soft sigh of envy, "Why are you looking at me for? I am not the one that they are interested in."
Most of the celestial practitioners that were presented were dark celestials; they were not allowed to enter the Golden Ascension Hall and were waiting outside according to their celestial clans while most of the golden celestials were the protégés of the seven celestial orthodox clans that were keeping watch outside the Golden Ascension Hall.
"Master Yi Ping, I am Fan Sichuan!"
"I am the Dark Sword Tie Musan!"
"I'm He Tianye! It is really my honour to finally grasp the extraordinary air of Master Yi Ping!"
There were so many celestials that were greeting Yi Ping that he was at a loss with so much attention; he bowed humbly and respectfully at each of them as he said, "It is really too much honour. I am just an ordinary practitioner…"
"Master Yi Ping!"
It was a powerful martial shout that quickly silenced the celestial practitioners that had gathered around Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man!
Yi Ping looked up and recognized Reverend Sword Pilgrim!
He quickly greeted him with his hands, "Reverend Sword Pilgrim!"
Reverend Sword Pilgrim laughed heartily, "You will be late if I am not here."
He looked sternly at the celestial practitioners that had gathered around Yi Ping before saying, "Master Yi Ping has to be in the Golden Ascension Hall. If he is not in, the divine lot cannot be drawn and your clan protégés elders and masters will surely be impatient, am I right? So let him pass quickly!"
Immediately many of the celestials quickly said, "Yes, yes…this way, Master Yi Ping…"
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he said to everyone as he repeated several times, "Thank you, heroes. It is also my honour to exchange greetings with everyone…"
He also bowed with his hands to Reverend Sword Pilgrim, "Thank you…"
Reverend Sword Pilgrim laughed, "It is nothing at all."
His sharp eyes however were looking at the Universal Old Man as he asked him, "I am Reverend Sword Pilgrim. May I know who you are? You do not look like an ordinary celestial practitioner…"
The Universal Old Man grumbled, "Just a day ago, we are still playing a game of Go in the Velvet Prosperity Hall. How come everyone knows who my protégé is but no one seems to know who I am."
Reverend Sword Pilgrim was stunned, "You are…the Universal Old Man!"
The Universal Old Man muttered, "Who else can I be?"
Reverend Sword Pilgrim broke into a loud laughter, "I can't believe that it is really you. Just because you have lost to me, you don't have to disguise yourself."
The Universal Old Man groaned softly, "Who is hiding from you?"
He began to roll up his sleeves as he said defiantly, "Let's have another rematch!"
Reverend Sword Pilgrim smiled weakly, "Maybe later or we will be late. Come, let us make haste!"
When Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man had entered the Golden Ascension Hall, almost all the celestial clans had already gathered inside.
Yi Ping estimated that there were at least two hundred clans and five thousand celestial practitioners that were here.
The Golden Ascension Hall was noisy and everyone was rumbling loudly!
Reverend Sword Pilgrim said, "Make haste to your seats and good luck! I got to go outside to monitor the situation. Farewell!"
Yi Ping quickly extended his hands to say humbly, "Farewell!"
However, the Universal Old Man was looking around excitedly for the Sagess Ai and saw her immediately.
It did not really take him too much of an effort; he simply followed the secret glances of all the male practitioners who were all quietly appraising a group of extraordinary beautiful maidens that were incredibly surreal!
And his stray eyes had caught sight of the Sagess Ai immediately!
He was beaming with smiles as he took broad strides toward the group of heavenly maidens; he knew very well that many of the celestial practitioners were secret envious of him that he could be seated so near to them!
He whispered softly just enough for Yi Ping to hear, "These hypocrites. They all are. Every one of them is pretending to be looking the other way. They are pretending to be high and almighty celestials but behind the scene, they engaged in all types of dirty business. That is why…that the Heaveness, Great Sage Lord and I will rather be autonomous celestials than join any factions or clans. That is what my true callings are but…the Sagess Ai misunderstands me and…alas…she thought that I have fallen for the Heaveness…alas…"
Yi Ping could only smiled weakly as he whispered back, "Protégé master, I am sure if you explain to her she will surely understand…"
The Universal Old Man muttered, "Hope so…"
Yi Ping asked curiously, "Who is the Great Sage Lord?"
The Universal Old Man sighed softly, "He is a close friend of the Heaveness and me but he is no longer with us now…"
He was suddenly melancholy, "Do you know that he is also one of the seven top ancient fighters? If he is around, I say even the Lord Supreme and the Immortal Saint of Swords would not be this conceit in front of us now. Come to think of this, five of the top ancient fighters are in this place today…"
He sighed softly as he stared blankly, "Excluding me, they are the Heaveness, the Lord Supreme, the Sagess Ai and the Immortal Saint of Swords…"
While the Universal Old Man was muttering to himself, Yi Ping had caught sight of the Sagess Ai. She was sitting in a casual manner at the golden platform with the Goddess Isa, Jing'Er, the Celeste Wind Maiden and Han Lin.
They were actually seating next to Lingfeng, Yixian, Yunzi, Youxue, Lie Qing, Lele, Yang Min and Shi Shi!
And just next to them were Lady Snowflake and Maiden Ziyue!
Lingfeng had also caught sight of Yi Ping and from her purposed expressions. It was obvious that she was in a very bad mood. Somehow Lingfeng always had a hundred ways to show her moods without expressing a single word!
Yi Ping could only bow his head low with a sense of guilt as he moved slowly to where she was seating.
He was thinking, "Lingfeng must be upset with me…"
However the Universal Old Man said, "Don't worry. Her anger isn't direct at you. She always has an enmity with the Sagess Ai. Now that they are seating next to each other, her bad mood is to be expected!"
Yi Ping muttered softly, "If that is the case then it will be good for me…"
He quickly looked around for Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Ye Yin and Shen Xingyue and was slightly relief that they had not arrived yet. If they were around, he would be even more awkward and at a loss to explain his latest adventure!
He had noticed that Old Reverend Vanquisher Sage, Reverend Sacred Sage and the Lord Supreme had not arrived yet. He garnered that Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Ye Yin and Shen Xingyue were all likely to arrive with the Lord Supreme.
He wondered, "I wonder if they manage to master the Four Aggregates Sword Formation?"
He began to feel a little excited and had actually forgotten about his awkwardness.
But his thoughts were soon interrupted when a large number of celestial practitioners had suddenly surrounded them as they greeted them.
Yi Ping had immediately recognized the Deadly Wanderer and even the Northern Tyrant in the crowd!
The Northern Tyrant immediately bowed respectfully, "Master Yi Ping, I hope that you do not remember the past and forgives me for my actions…"
Yi Ping immediately said, "I have forgotten already."
The Northern Tyrant smiled weakly, "If I have the luck to be at the same gate as Master Yi Ping, I hope that you can at the very least look after me…"
The Universal Old Man growled, "The whole lot of you are now scared now, am I right? You are hoping that Ping'Er and his group can aid you to clear the obstacles?"
The Deadly Wanderer stammered, "You…you are the Universal Old Man?!"
The Universal Old Man hummed coldly, "Of course I am. Who else can I be?"
The Deadly Wanderer, the Northern Tyrant and many of the celestial practitioners could only mutter weakly, "Yes, yes…"
Yi Ping bowed humbly with his hands as he assured him, "Don't worry. If our divine lot determines that we will be in the same gate, I will surely give a helping hand whenever I can. After all, we are not enemies and the object is to ascend to the highest level of the Stellar Sanctuary."
The Universal Old Man sighed as he thought, "Ping'Er, you are too naïve. Even friends will become arch foes once they are inside the Stellar Sanctuary. There is no escape from the greed and tempting desires once they are inside!"
The Northern Tyrant bowed humbly, "Master Yi Ping, thanks. Good luck on the divine lot later too."
The Deadly Wanderer and dozens of celestial practitioners were not slow in saying, "Master Yi Ping, good luck on the divine lot!"
The Universal Old Man muttered unhappily, "Go, go! Go back to your seats first. The Lord Supreme will be coming soon enough."
The Deadly Wanderer, the Northern Tyrant and all the celestial practitioners immediately bowed with their hands to say, "Senior, good luck on the divine lot…"
The Universal Old Man replied coldly, "That is enough already. Quickly go!"
The Universal Old Man was getting a little irritated. It was because he was all too eager to walk to the Sagess Ai if not for these dozens of celestial practitioners that were blocking him now!
However the dozens of celestial practitioners did not know why the Universal Old Man was irritated and they tried to pacify him; they thought that they had offended him when they had failed to recognize him so they said, "May Senior have the good fortune to find the heavenly relics and the celestial treasures that are in the Stellar Sanctuary…"
"Master Yi Ping!"
Another group of celestial practitioners had also gathered around them once they had recognized Yi Ping from a far.
The Universal Old Man quickly said, "Ping'Er, let's go hurriedly. The others are waiting for us!"
It was with a little difficulty that Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man had finally managed to take more than a hundred steps into the Golden Ascension Hall!
They had never expected that it would be these hundred steps would be so difficult!
Dozens of celestial clans had quickly surrounded them and were trying desperately to gain the support of the Lord of the Tranquil City and the Universal Old Man!
Before Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man had even stepped into the Golden Ascension Hall, the two hundred celestial clans that were inside were already making secret alliances and agreements!
By all appearances, these celestial clans were supposed to be allies but it was far from the truth!
Centuries of feuds and blood debts had only intensified their rivalries!
But because they were forcefully invited to the grounds of the Holy Ascension Sect and they feared the Lord Supreme, they had reluctantly pretended to be amicable with each other!
As Yi Ping could make his way through finally with a sense of relief, the Universal Old Man grinned at him, "Ping'Er, who is she?"
Yi Ping asked, "Who?"
The Universal Old Man whispered shyly, "That golden hair maiden. She seems to be looking at me!"
If Yi Ping had not taken a look, it would be alright.
But when he had taken a look, he had suddenly noticed that the Goddess Isa and all the other maidens were all looking keenly at him that he almost missed a step!
He was so flustered that his normally quick steps were slowed down!
The Universal Old Man found himself looking at the golden hair heavenly maiden with the stately demeanor. He had noticed that he was not the only one. The Immortal Saint of Swords was also looking queerly at her.
He reminded himself, "Weird. I am still unable to tell her state of divinity. She is an Ancient Celestial too? Yi Ping, what is her name? You still haven't told me yet. I remember that she says she wants to kill an unfaithful man? Poor maiden. Alas, the evils of the Celestial Realm!"
Yi Ping whispered, "She is the Goddess Isa."
The Universal Old Man stroked his clean chin with his fingers as he smiled, "Alas, beautiful name! What a beautiful celestial name! How did you know her? She is a protégé of the Celestial Aiel Sect?"
Yi Ping could only smile bitterly as he whispered, "I really do not know who she is. Do you think that she is an immortal practitioner?"
The Universal Old Man looked at Yi Ping before laughing, "Her state of divinity seems high enough but that doesn't mean she is an immortal practitioner. She could be a Golden Celestial at the end of her sixth or seventh heavenly tribulation. She can also be a newly transfigured Ancient Celestial or is an Ancient Celestial from the start."
Yi Ping asked, "You are sure? But…"
The Universal Old Man nodded as he said firmly, "Yes I am sure. As far as I know, only the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos and the Goddess Celestial Alice are the true immortal practitioners. Needless to say, they are likely to leave behind evidences of their stunning achievements! If you know the lore of the Ancient Celestials, the Goddess Celestial Alice gives us the edicts from the Celestial Realm!"
Yi Ping said softy, "Somehow I feel that things are not what it seems. The Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos isn't mentioned anywhere except for the Stellar Sanctuary. What if there is an entire city of immortal practitioners? What if most are only interested in pursuing further enlightenment and that is why we have never heard of them? What if the Immortal Realm never exists in the first place?"
The Universal Old Man laughed, "There aren't so many what if. The Stellar Sanctuary is the best proof already that the Immortal Realm actually exists! Moreover, our heavenly tribulations are always hinting us of a higher plane of existence!"
He patted Yi Ping before saying, "The Goddess Celestial Alice won't lie to us."
He lowered his voice to a whisper and appeared extremely secretive, "Next time I will tell you more. Or maybe the Heaveness will share with you now that she has completely regained her memories. But for now, I will only tell you briefly. Guess what the rewards that we are promised for defeating the Dragon Race by the Goddess Celestial Alice? We, the Pangu Clan are allowed to ascend to the heavens to be immortal beings! As celestial practitioners we are no longer able to conceive but if we are to perseverance to the very end, we will be able to be immortal beings!"
Yi Ping did not feel that was right so he replied softly, "And at what price? The Ancient Celestials are so few now…"
The Universal Old Man laughed, "Yes, so few now but we still have many descendants!"
Yi Ping was stunned as he asked, "Oh?! Descendants?"
The Universal Old Man pointed at him, "You are dense aren't you? The golden celestials and all the mortals in the lower realm are our descendants. Why do you think that before the Ancient Celestials departed from the lower realm, we will leave behind our martial and celestial secrets? The Goddess Celestial Alice has already warned us that the path to true immortality will be filled with dangers and will be arduous but she has given us a head start."
He sighed softly, "She is the one that has informed us that the enlightened mortals will one day also be able to ascend as celestial practitioners. Together, we must continue to seek further enlightenment. Alas, I have never expected that the Stellar Sanctuary will be so hard and it will only appear so infrequent! Time flies so fast that I have already been here for thousands of years now…"
Yi Ping was startled, "So long?!"
All of a sudden he asked, "Is Maiden Ziyan the Goddess Celestial Alice? Why didn't you recognize her at the Astronomic Stellar Formation?"
The Universal Old Man growled softly, "That is because I have never seen her. Her edicts are delivered through her priestesses and the elders of our clan. You can ask the Sagess Ai though."
Yi Ping smiled weakly, "You mean that the Celestial Mistress, I mean Sagess Ai is a priestess of the Goddess Celestial Alice?"
The Universal Old Man laughed, "This time you are so smart!"
Yi Ping sighed softly, "But it is a pity that the Maiden Ziyan isn't here now. I really wish that she is not the Goddess Celestial Alice."
The Universal Old Man laughed merrily, "Why? She seems to like you. If she is the Goddess Celestial Alice then you can ask her on our behalf for the intricacy formulas of the Immortal Practice!"
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, "She did give us remember? But none of us really understands if it is really an intricate formula. It is more like a code for moral instructions. Moreover you better hope that she isn't the Goddess Celestial Alice. It is because she did lie to us that she is the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos. And I remember you say to me before that the higher state of divinity a celestial practitioner has attained, the more incapable they are of lying or else it will affect their enlightenment."
He looked curiously at the Universal Old Man, "But she did lie to us. Am I right? And if she can lie then she can lie to you about the Immortal Realm too."
The Universal Old Man was stunned. It was because he had never expected Yi Ping to be so sharp all of a sudden!
Just when he was about to ponder more, they had already reached the steps of the golden platform…
He was immediately greeted by Maiden Ziyue, "My humble respects to the Lord of the Tranquil City…"
Yi Ping quickly replied awkwardly, "Just call me Yi Ping…"
Maiden Ziyue answered shyly, "Master Yi Ping…"
Maiden Ziyue gasped, "You are…"
Lingfeng said coldly, "Who else can he be other than the Universal Old Man?"
Yi Ping asked with a slightly surprise, "You can recognize him?"
Lie Qing blurted out, "Only a fool will not be able to recognize his…belly!"
Immediately there were several laughter and giggles from the maidens!
Lele was laughing so jovially that she was bending over and in tears!
Yi Ping sighed softly, "That is right…his belly…"
The Universal Old Man began to moan with displeasure as he patted his belly uncomfortably.
"So you are willing to come back now?" Lingfeng asked as she interrupted them.
She added, "You seem to be plucking flowers in the wilderness recently. But these flowers in the wilderness all have poisonous thorns. So you have better watched out."
It was obvious that she was jealous!
Lele immediately laughed softly, "Sister Lingfeng is envious!"
She had immediately winked at Han Lin, telling her. "Don't mind Sister Lingfeng. If you know her well enough, you know that she is actually quite easy to get along!"
The Sagess Ai yawned, "Is that so? I doubt so."
Lingfeng ignored the two of them as she raised her alluring eyes sternly at Lele.
All the other maidens were all smiling weakly as they looked at Yi Ping, Lingfeng, Lele and the Sagess Ai!
The Universal Old Man was muttering weakly, "Ai, how are you? How is your talk with the Lord Supreme? I will advise you not to get too close to him…"
The Sagess Ai hummed coldly, "Not to worry. I won't. The Celestial Aiel Sect has nothing to do with the Holy Ascension Sect whatever so. Also, this is none of your business right? Why are you questioning me?"
The Universal Old Man stammered, "We are friends…"
The Sagess Ai hummed coldly, "Forget it. I have a new interest now."
The Universal Old Man was startled, "Who?! That Old Reverend Vanquishing Sage? Just because he has a divine sword and I don't, you think he is better than me?"
The Sagess Ai replied coldly, "That is right."
But she was looking shyly at Yi Ping while Han Lin was giggling behind her!
Lingfeng looked coldly at the Sagess Ai and her group, "You seem to be well prepared and have some formidable helpers."
She looked at Han Lin, Jing'Er, the Celeste Wind Maiden and the Goddess Isa one by one.
She lingered at the Celeste Wind Maiden and the Goddess Isa longer than the others.
The Goddess Isa said casually to her, "The mark of your Heaven Eyes is impressive. So, are you still on the Greater Stellar Position or have you reached the Lesser Heaven Position?"
Lingfeng raised her eyebrows.
The Goddess Isa smiled, "Don't look at me like this. I don't even have any Heaven Eyes to aid me."
Lele was curious as she asked sarcastically, "Oh mighty Goddess Isa, can you please enlighten me? What positions are you talking about? There are different levels of attainment for the Heaven Eyes too?"
The Goddess Isa said casually, "That is right. When the Heaven Eyes is first opened, it starts from the Lesser Stellar Position then to the Greater Stellar Position. If a practitioner is lucky enough, they will be able to reach the Lesser Heaven Position and then the Greater Heaven Position. Finally if they are twice lucky then they may be able to attain the Lesser Cosmos Position and the Greater Cosmos Position. All in all, there are sixth positions."
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Lele's curiosity was piqued, "Then can you tell which level of positioning have I attained for my Heaven Eyes?"
The Goddess Isa smiled coldly, "You may be just a Golden Celestial but you have already opened your Heaven Eyes. That is an impossible feat. No wonder you are able to fight through so many battles unscathed…"
Lele looked intently at her before asking, "You mean you have been watching us from the shadows even before we have reached the camps of the Martial Deviant Clan?"
The Goddess Isa nodded gently.
Lele added, "So you are envious of me that I have opened my Heaven Eyes and you have not? Well, let me tell you this. That is because I am a genius…"
The Goddess Isa hummed coldly, "That is because an immortal practitioner has aided you at a great cost to her or his attainment. Judging by the handiwork of your Heaven Eyes, you have already reached the Greater Stellar Position. You ought to thank the heavens. It is not something that can happen to anyone."
Lele was a little disappointed, "So I am just on the second level of positioning. What a disappointment!"
Lingfeng said quietly to Lele, "You are wrong. For the majority of the practitioners that had managed to open their Heaven Eyes, they can only reach the Lesser Stellar Position. That is already their limit! The difference between the Lesser Stellar Position and the Greater Stellar Position is extremely vast, as much as the difference between a celestial practitioner and an immortal practitioner!"
Yixian unconsciously touched her forehead.
There were five tiny blue marks on her forehead but had since disappeared!
But she knew that her Heaven Eyes was only concealing itself as she thought, "Then what is the level of my Heaven Eyes positioning?"
The Goddess Isa seemed to have heard her as she said quietly, "But it seems that someone has already reached the Greater Heaven Positioning. What that means, she has to find out herself."
She whispered softly in Yixian's ears, "You are a formidable opponent."
She looked at Yixian, Lie Qing and Lele before she said to Lingfeng, "Your group is equally strong too. But we won't lose to you."
Lie Qing was a little startled. She looked intently at Lingfeng and the Goddess Isa as she thought, "Isn't it obvious to me that they actually know each other but why are they pretending otherwise? It is indeed very strange!"
Even Youxue and Yunzi were looking at each other discreetly before they exchanged knowing glance with Lie Qing!
The protégés of the Virtuous Palace were trained in the secret arts of subtly observation, a secret art that was handed down by none other than Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress!
"Lingfeng, who are they?"
An enchanting maiden had just walked into their midst quietly!
It was Shen Xingyue!
Yi Ping asked, "Xingyue, aren't you supposed to be practicing the Four Aggregates Sword Formation with Ye Yin, Yu'Er and Mei'Er?"
Shen Xingyue laughed softly, "Have you forgotten that I was expelled by the Holy Ascension Sect already? As for the rest, they will be coming shortly."
She paused briefly before winking at Yi Ping, "From on now, I belongs to you."
Yi Ping quickly said with a deep flush, "Xingyue, we have others here…"
Shen Xingyue moaned softly as she looked at the Sagess Ai, the Celeste Wind Maiden, Maiden Ziyue, Lady Snowflake, Yang Min, Jing'Er and the Goddess Isa before she said coldly, "Indeed! There are others here and are all pretty maidens!"
Lady Snowflake laughed softly, "Don't drag me into it!"
Lingfeng got up as she smiled alluringly, "It is a good thing that Sister Xingyue you are here now. Yi Ping is bullying me!"
Yi Ping was stunned, "I did? When? I just arrive and didn't say anything…"
Lingfeng insisted softly, "Yes, you did!"
All of a sudden, Shen Xingyue expressions changed as she said respectfully to Jing'Er and Yang Min, "You are the Exalt Heaven Fairy and the Lunar Heaven Fairy! My respects to the Seniors!"
Jing'Er immediately smiled warmly, "That is in the past. It has been a long time. It seems that your present attainment is higher than us now. How long have you been in the Celestial Realm? A hundred years?"
Shen Xingyue answered shyly, "One year…"
Immediately, Yang Min, Jing'Er and the other maidens who did not know who was Shen Xingyue were all stunned!
She had taken a mere one year to become an ancient celestial practitioner!
The Goddess Isa was muttering to herself in utter astonishment as she looked intently at Shen Xingyue…
Yang Min soon regained her composure to say, "If you don't mind, you can address us as your sisters. We have heard from Shi Shi that like her, you are…"
She stole a glance at Yi Ping before adding, "…the consort of the Lord of the Tranquil City now."
Shen Xingyue looked at Shi Shi the Stellar Heaven Fairy, "That is right. Do you know that when I am a lowly celestial practitioner back then, I have admired the three of you? At that time, the three of you are one of the strongest celestial practitioners in the lower realm. I have often wondered to myself if it is even possible for me to ascend."
Yang Min sighed softly, "It is our mistake to depend too much on our divine swords to ascend. Our ascension did not go as smoothly as we have thought."
She stole a look at Shi Shi who was almost closed to her tears.
But Shi Shi composed herself to say, "But now…"
She took a gentle look at Yi Ping and at Yunzi, "…I consider myself to be lucky. I have met someone deserving of me. Also now I have so many sisters to share my woes and joys!"
Yi Ping muttered, "Shi Shi…"
Yang Min and Jing'Er were envious but unlike the Goddess Isa, the Sagess Ai, the Celeste Wind Maiden and Han Lin, they made no attempt to disguise it!
It was because they were happy for Shi Shi!
Shen Xingyue smiled, "Good sisters then! You must tell me more about experiences in the Celestial Realm. If it is too painful to recall then that is alright! But if you are happy to share with me, I will be glad too!"
Lingfeng muttered, "Xingyue, I thought that you are on the same side as me."
Shen Xingyue laughed softly as she looked at Yixian, Youxue, Lie Qing and Lingfeng, "I may be betrothed to the White Sage in the past but for Yi Ping, I am afraid that I am ranked quite lowly. One more or one less sister doesn't matter to me anymore!"
Yi Ping was smiling bitterly as he said, "What is this consort talk? The wedding is supposed to be a mock wedding to gain Ye Yin's trust so that she will not go around telling the others what we have discovered…"
Yixian was smiling and her smiles were heavenly as she rocked slightly back, "Ping'Er! Now you are still…precisely that all of them know that you won't be able to make up your mind or is afraid to hurt anyone of them. So they lie to you. The wedding isn't a mock! It is real. And Heavens and Earth is the witness!"
Yi Ping was stunned, "It is real!?"
Lie Qing laughed softly, "If we don't take this drastic measure, how then do you think we can bind you to us? Moreover…"
Shi Shi added, "…Moreover we are all celestial practitioners now. If we are frustrated by our troubled emotions, it will be very bad for our further enlightenment. This is the only way to put the hearts of everyone to rest. You wouldn't want to see all of us sad?"
Yi Ping muttered with a soft sigh, "Perhaps that is the best…"
It was because after going through so many battles thick and thin with these maidens, he did not want to hurt anyone; he really did not know how to handle any of them…
It was a lucky thing that Yixian had been really understanding to him…
Han Lin who had been listening with interest interrupted, "It will be fun to have another mock wedding. I like to participate too…"
Yi Ping turned pale immediately as he stammered, "Maiden Han Lin, you really know how to joke…"
The Goddess Isa sighed softly as she looked intently at Yi Ping, "I can't tolerate sharing my beloved with anyone.
In the end, I am forced to sacrifice my divinity and attainment because my heart is too envious. Now…"
She looked at everyone and her level of divinity had suddenly surged, startling everyone!
Immediately all the maidens took a step back and readied a martial stance!
But as soon as the level of divinity of the Goddess Isa had surged, it had plummeted almost immediately as she smiled coldly to everyone, "I am not so foolish as to take out all of you in this place. However, it is another matter while in the Stellar Sanctuary."
The Sagess Ai said quietly, "Surely you are not thinking of going back on your word? You say you will help me in the Stellar Sanctuary."
The Goddess Isa smirked coldly, "I surely will but I have never said I will aid the rest."
The Celeste Wind Maiden hummed coldly, "You are really ungrateful."
The Universal Old Man who had been trying hard to talk to the Sagess Ai stammered out, "I will surely help you!"
But the Sagess Ai ignored him and pretended not to hear him.
Youxue suddenly said, "They have come!"
The Lord Supreme, Reverend Sacred Sage, Old Reverend Vanquishing Sage, the Eclipse Heaven Goddess, the Axis Heaven Goddess and Ascension Goddess had just arrived via another entrance, followed by the Four Reverend Ascendant Priests, Xuan Kong, Xuan Qian, Xuan Wei and Xuan You!
Almost all the celestial practitioners immediately rose up to pay their homage to him!
The numerous Ascendant protégés and close allies immediately shouted fervently, ""Hail the Ascendant Supreme Leader. Long live the Ascendant Supreme Leader! Long live the Lord Supreme! May the eternal flames of the Ascendant Fire never extinguish and all the songs of heavens echo the deeds of the Holy Ascension Sect!"
While the Sagess Ai, the Goddess Isa and Han Lin were unimpressed by the proclamations, they were still slightly startled by the extraordinary divine air of the newly arrivals!
These arrivals were the best in the entire Holy Ascension Sect!
Yi Ping was stunned at the divine radiance of the Ascension Goddess, the Eclipse Heaven Goddess and the Axis Heaven Goddess!
He murmured, "Ye Yin, Yu'Er and Mei'Er are so different now…"
He was a little in awe of them but he soon became flustered when he had suddenly noticed that Ye Yin the Ascension Goddess was looking shyly at him!
Not only Ye Yin but Yu'Er and Mei'Er as well!
Yi Ping was not the only one who was stunned.
The Sagess Ai, the Celeste Wind Maiden, Jing'Er, Yang Min and Han Lin were shocked to see them!
The Sagess Ai was muttering, "The Eclipse and the Axis Heaven Goddess, they have finally ascended?"
The Celeste Wind Maiden was stunned at the divinity of the Ascension Goddess, "This is impossible! She is but a newly celestial practitioner who has barely been in the Celestial Realm for a hundred years. In such a short time, she has become an ancient celestial practitioner?!"
The Ascension Goddess was one of the present seven super celestial fighters in the Celestial Realm. Her rise had been too phenomenon!
Yang Min was muttering, "The Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddess are now in the Celestial Realm. What is going on?"
All of a sudden Yi Ping could felt the cold gazes of Ye Yin, Yu'Er and Mei'Er that were upon him!
He shuddered slightly.
The Ascension Goddess, the Eclipse and Axis Heaven Goddess were not looking at him directly but their divine senses were so uncanny that they could feel the subtle emotions that were going on.
It was because they were suddenly aware that just next to the golden platform that Yi Ping was seating at were several extraordinary maidens!
So in a way they were focusing all their divine senses and envious air at Yi Ping!
This did not go unnoticed by the Goddess Aiel and the Goddess Isa!
They immediately thought, "They are his consorts too? A lofty celestial maiden will never pick someone who has a lower level of attainment than them lest it will severely impair their attainment and future enlightenment. But they…"
Lingfeng laughed alluringly as she looked at Yi Ping, "I don't know how you are going to get out of this mess. Ye Yin isn't someone who is so easily be dealt with."
Ye Yin was of course the Ascension Goddess!
Yi Ping could only smile weakly. He was smart enough to keep quiet.
He sighed softly, "I can never win any argument with Lingfeng so it is better that I keep quiet for now. Moreover, she is also half my grand protégé mistress…"
Yunzi said quietly to Yi Ping, "Ping'Er, no matter what is going to happen you must be strong. I…I am going to my seat now. No matter what happens, I won't oppose you…"
Yi Ping muttered, "Yunzi…"
Youxue called out hurriedly, "Sister Yun!"
But Yunzi had already departed and she was beside the Immortal Saint of Swords in the next instant!
Yunzi was now the protégé leader of the Infinity Sword Celestial Clan and had to fight for their interest in the Stellar Sanctuary!
As the Lord Supreme entered the Golden Ascension Hall, he had immediately spotted the Goddess Isa. At first glance, he knew that she was no ordinary celestial practitioner!
The Lord Supreme was more cautious than the majority of the celestial practitioners. He knew that the Sagess Ai was also the celestial priestess of the Goddess Celestial Alice and also one of the elders of the Pangu Clan.
He was under no illusions that there were other immortal practitioners in the Celestial Realm. The Goddess Celestial Alice was one, the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos was one and there must be possibly more of them!
He had spent hundreds of years in secret exploring the other heavens of the Celestial Realm in an attempt to unravel the secrets of the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation. Eventually he had one conclusion; all the clues seemed to point toward a mysterious celestial sect that was named the Goddess Theocracy!
While most had never heard of the Goddess Theocracy before, its influences extended from the lower realm to the upper realm!
The elders of the Pangu Clan, the Erudite Sect, the Celestial Aiel Sect and many more unknown martial clans and celestial clans were actually part of the Goddess Theocracy!
They were like the watchers, influencing the affairs of the mortals and other celestials subtly!
His first impression of the Goddess Isa was that she was either an immortal practitioner or an ancient celestial priestess of the Goddess Theocracy!
He murmured to himself, "This is going to be interesting."
The Lord Supreme reverberated aloud as he looked sternly at the thousands of celestial practitioners that were presented in the Golden Ascension Hall, "Greetings. I am going to skip the formalities and go direct to the point."
Immediately there were great bursts of rumblings in the Golden Ascension Hall as thousands of celestial practitioners from two hundred over celestial clans acknowledged excitingly at the same time!
They were all here to challenge the Stellar Sanctuary and ascend as immortal practitioners!
The majority of these celestial practitioners had never been to the Stellar Sanctuary. At the same time large number of them would not be permitted to go to the Stellar Sanctuary at all; only the most powerful and highly attained celestials in their clans would be going to the Stellar Sanctuary but that did not damper their spirits!
It was because it was their honor to escort their clan seniors and elders to the gates of the Stellar Sanctuary. If their own clan seniors and elders would ascend to be an immortal practitioner or brought back the artifacts and celestial skills from the Stellar Sanctuary then it would also be in their advantage!
The Lord Supreme continued, "To prevent collaborations and to ensure the best chances for all of us, very soon we are going to start drawing the lots for the Stellar Sanctuary!"
Yi Ping raised his voice, "Why are we drawing the lots? Isn't it better for all of us to storm one of the gates of the Stellar Sanctuary together?
Immediately there were several roars of laughter from all over the hall!
Old Hare the grand patriarch of the Mythical Seal Clan laughed aloud and his voice filled the Golden Ascension Hall thunderously, "Lord of the Tranquil City, you may not know this but in the Stellar Sanctuary, more does not equal better!"
Yi Ping was startled and so were several hundreds of celestial practitioners who had never been to the Stellar Sanctuary.
Yi Ping asked, "Oh? Why is it so?"
Old Hare laughed, "It is because there are numerous traps in the Stellar Sanctuary and if the group is too large, then the risk will increase considerably. Moreover once a celestial treasure appears in the Stellar Sanctuary, everyone will forget that they are allies and will attempt to seize it! So it is better to choose a lesser known gate than one with too many celestial practitioners!"
The Immortal Saint of Swords echoed with his internal strength via the Thousand Mile Resonant Divine Skill, "It is the truth. Half of the celestial practitioners inside the Stellar Sanctuary are actually killed by the others. After discussions with the Lord Supreme, we have decided to make draw a divine lot to determine our fates in the Stellar Sanctuary. Not only will it be fair, it will also save us the headache of picking the gates."
The Lord Supreme nodded before he resonated coldly, "Before we proceed, there are a few rules that we must enforce here before the divine lot. Those that did not comply with it will be the same as our enemies and all the orthodox celestial clans will have the authority to punish them in whatever ways that are fittings!"
The hegemony air of the Lord Supreme was cold and extremely piercing!
It was not an empty threat!
Even if the Holy Ascension Sect did not take any action, all the other celestial clans were like vultures once they found an excuse to attack another celestial clan for its martial and celestial secrets!
Only the foolish and the ignorant clans would dare to incur the wrath of all the celestial clans!
The Lord Supreme continued coldly, "Firstly, all the celestial clans can choose to draw up to two divine lots or abstain from the draw."
The Sagess Ai raised her eyebrows as she asked resoundingly, "Two divine lots? Won't it make it easier for those that decide to collaborate?"
There were many rumblings this time!
Even Yi Ping was confused as he looked at Lingfeng, "That is right. Isn't the divine lot supposed to be a fair chance for all the celestial clans? Why are there two divine lots?"
Lingfeng pondered quickly before she whispered, "I am sure the Lord Supreme will explain it soon enough. Be patient."
The Lord Supreme continued coldly as though he could hear the thoughts of everyone, "Secondly once a celestial clan has decided to pick the divine lot, they are allowed to pick one or two divine lots. But…"
He smiled coldly, "But if a celestial clan does decide to pick two divine lots then they must send at least a representative for each of the divine lot that had been allocated for the gates of the Stellar Sanctuary!"
There were many loud rumblings and mutterings immediately!
Many of the celestial practitioners were exchanging startled look and realization with each other!
Majority of the celestial clans could not afford to split their strength into two!
And it was almost suicide to do so!
And moreover there were many other unfamiliar celestial clans and autonomous celestials out there!
How many celestial clans would pick two divine lots instead of one?
The Universal Old Man roared with laughter, "Even though it appears that none of the celestial clans will pick two divine lots but there is a good chance that one of the divine lots will be a good one. The problem is the other divine lot may be an unlucky one. This loophole may give a celestial clan the best chance to survive but someone must be sacrificed in exchange for the others!"
Immediately bursts of uproar broke out among the celestials as they began to discuss their last minute stratagems or trying to adapt their current stratagems!
Lele laughed softly, "Even though our strategist Yunzi is not here, we still have the Universal Old Man!"
Lingfeng smiled weakly, "I believe that is just a one off burst shot of brilliant."
The Universal Old Man was beaming proudly to himself as he looked at the Sagess Ai as he asked, "Ai, what do you think?"
The Goddess Aiel or Sagess Ai ignored him but she was also thinking rapidly!
Shen Xingyue noticed that the Yang Min the Exalt Heaven Fairy was tapping her fingers.
She laughed softly, "Sister Yang, back in the lower realm you are known for your intelligence and for your brilliant mind. Now that Yunzi isn't with us, perhaps you can help us to come up with a plan?"
Shi Shi nodded, "If it is Yang Min then the plan will surely be good!"
Jing'Er nodded with a bold smile, "Min'Er is for sure one of the most brilliant tactician mind!"
Han Lin tapped her foot, "Jing'Er, don't forget that your sister Yang Min is with the Tranquil City while you are with the Celestial Aiel Sect now!"
Jing'Er smiled good naturally, "It doesn't matter. We are always good sisters."
Han Lin sighed softly, "I give up! I can't argue with you."
All of a sudden Lie Qing muttered, "Wait a minute. Drawing two divine lots may not be a good thing too…"
The Goddess Isa was laughing softly.
Even though her laughter was soft and gently but it was heard pristine clear in everyone's ears!
Everyone was stunned and startled at her internal strength!
The Goddess Isa whispered gently, "It will be terrible if both divine lots are the worst possible outcome."
Her words had suddenly struck everyone like a thunderbolt!