161 The Deific Divine Skill
The Goddess Celestial Alice had initiated the warping formation with the Artefact Core of the Stellar Sanctuary to send Shi Shi, Jing'Er, Yang Min, the Celeste Wind Maiden, Lady Winter Plum and Old Venerable Vanquisher Sage back to the exterior of the Stellar Sanctuary.
The Goddess Celestial Alice briefly collapsed after initiating the warping formation.
Isa said quietly to him, "The more people that are sent back, the more taxing it is. Usually the limit is no more than three…"
Yi Ping sighed miserably at the terrible toll that it had extracted on Alice…
He quickly looked around to make an assessment of their party strength.
After firsthand experiencing the Stellar Sanctuary, he knew that this place was really not easy. He shivered to think that the Stellar Sanctuary was the end place for tens of thousands of celestials…
He had ascended to the Celestial Realm with nine of the maidens and he sighed with relief that they were still with him.
The nine of them were the Celestial Fairy Yixian, the Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing, the Joyful Goddess Lele, Xiao Youxue, Dugu Yunzi, the Heaveness Lingfeng, the Eclipse Heaven Goddess Yu'Er, the Axis Eclipse Heaven Goddess Mei'Er and the Fiery Phoenix Shen Xingyue.
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In additional to the original group, there were the Universal Old Man, the Ascension Goddess Ye Yin, the Goddess Aiel, Han Lin, the Goddess Isa, the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess Celestial Alice. Altogether there were seven of them.
So including himself, there was seventeen of them left now out of a sizable group of twenty-three.
Lingfeng muttered, "The group is still too large. If we step into a powerful formation, the size of our group will be our downfall. It is because the formidability of the formation increases in strength based on our numbers!"
Youxue swept a cold gaze at the Goddess Isa, the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess Celestial Alice, "And we have three invalids now. It is going to be tough protecting them. If it is a trial that requires the practitioner's martial strength, how are they going to overcome it? In short, they are our burden!"
This immediately caused flustering embarrassment from the Alice, Isa and Xiang!
Xiang muttered, "I have never thought that today I will be given a dressing down of my martial strength by a mere celestial practitioner…"
Xiao Youxue was never one to mince her words. When she had heard that, she reminded them. "The weak has no place here!"
Alice smiled bitterly, "I have never had anyone that called me weak and can still remain standing for this long."
Isa smiled bitterly as well, "Me too…"
The Heaveness Lingfeng, the Ascension Goddess Ye Yin and the Fiery Phoenix Shen Xingyue were all smiling weakly. It was because the status of the Great Goddess Alice of the Three Known Realms was such that all the celestials were expected to pay homage to her!
But now Youxue was being so disrespectful to them and she had actually got away from it!
Only Yunzi knew that Youxue was cold on the surface but kind inside. It was because they were both from the Virtuous Palace which was extremely cruel to their protégés.
Youxue was indirectly telling everyone that if anything happens later, they should not grieve because this result was to be expected.
This was a reality that everyone must learn to accept.
But Yi Ping said with a heroic determination, "If anything happens and it seems to be beyond us, flee first. I will cover everyone. I will be there for everyone."
Alice, Isa and Xiang looked quietly at him; their expressions were reflective and startled!
The Universal Old Man clapped his hand onto his chest, "Ladies, Yi Ping and I will be your tank!"
The Heaveness Lingfeng smiled weakly, "You are teasing us, am I right? Look at you. You are almost half-dead. Can you still be able to move as mobile as before?"
Indeed she was right.
Most of them had expended their martial strength or taken a hard beating from the Esper Formation and battle earlier!
The Universal Old Man had expended most of his martial strength to help the weaker ones to survive through the Esper Formation.
The Universal Old Man began to laugh heartily, "I am already so old now. It is almost time to meet my maker."
Yu'Er laughed softly, "Without your beard, you actually look young!"
The Universal Old Man began to rub his chin, "Oh really? No wonder, I am feeling young and attractive nowadays…"
Lingfeng shook her head, "You are…hopeless. Why did I have a companion like you…"
Mei'Er laughed jovially to the Universal Old Man, "Why don't you try dating Lady Winter Plum?"
The Universal Old Man laughed, "A beautiful maiden like her won't like me. Moreover…"
He took a glance at the Goddess Aiel, "…I am faithful to Aiel…"
The Goddess Aiel began to cough uncontrollably while Han Lin was laughing jovially as she moved to and fro.
The Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing unsheathed her divine sword, "I am going to kill someone. I can't bear to watch anymore!…"
Yi Ping panicky called out, "Qing'Er, no!"
The Celestial Fairy Yixian smiled gently, "Maybe we should continue first as we chat?"
Everyone immediately nodded anxiously.
While they were chatting, they were not idling either. All of them were actually in meditation poses and trying to replenish as much martial power and internal strength as possible!
Yi Ping immediately led the way followed by Youxue.
Yixian smiled, "We can also try out the Deific Divine Skill first."
Yi Ping asked, "Xian'Er, you have an idea how to begin?"
Yixian nodded gently, "I think so. Let me try!"
She immediately raised her fingers and all of a sudden, there were six glowing lights on her finger tips!
Everyone was astonished.
Yi Ping was startled, "Xian'Er, you have reached the Primordial Core in such a short time?!"
The first glowing light represented the basic proficiency of the Deific Divine Skill. The second glowing light represented that the practitioner had enough cultivation to begin the Immortal Practice.
The third glowing light represented the first stage of the Immortal Practice, Intricacy Focus.
The forth glowing light represented the second stage of the Immortal Practice, Linker Spirits.
The fifth glowing light represented the third stage of the Immortal Practice, Revelation.
The sixth glowing light represented the fourth stage of the Immortal Practice, Heaven Eyes.
So that means that Yixian was now at the Primordial Core Immortal Stage!
She was now left with three more immortal staging to be a half-immortal; the Primordial Core, the Divine Crisis and the Celestial Unison.
Yixian smiled gently, "So I am an immortal practitioner now?"
The Goddess Aiel clapped her hands, "I know Ishtar…I mean the Celestial Fairy will surely attain enlightenment as an immortal practitioner!"
Alice, Isa and Xiang looked astonishingly at each other as they pursed their lips…
Yi Ping was astonished by Yixian, "Xian'Er, you can explain the principles of the Immortal Practice to us?"
Yixian smiled, "Why not?"
She said gently, "Try to get the basic Deific Divine Skill working first."
Immediately everyone began to exercise their internal strength to their fingertips by reciting the intricacy formula of the Deific Divine Skill.
Except for the Goddess Aiel, the Goddess Celestial Alice, the Goddess Isa and the Goddess of Mercy Xiang who were already immortal practitioners, the rest of the group began to recite the Deific Divine Skill.
The first fingertip of everyone was glowing.
One hundred percent success rate.
Everyone was delighted.
Lele tugged Yi Ping as she winked at him, "Look Ping'Er, I have done it!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly and so did the rest of the maidens.
Whether Lele was able to succeed or not with the Deific Divine Skill to gauge her immortal stages advancement was not really important to her; it was because everyone had already known that she had already completed the Celestial Unison, which was the last immortal staging!
In short, she did not even need to figure out the Immortal Practice at all but to the rest of the celestial practitioners, this was actually really crucial to them!
Yixian smiled to Lele, "Good sister, well done."
Lele laughed softly, "Thank you sister!"
Lie Qing smiled weakly, "You are a cheater, Lele…"
Yixian laughed softly but she soon turned solemnly, "Alright everyone. The second step is the most crucial. It is to see whether you have enough cultivation to begin practice as an immortal practitioner. Simply recite the second verse of the Deific Divine Skill."
Yi Ping successfully lit his second fingertip with a soft glow.
The Universal Old Man laughed heartily; he had also succeeded.
The Heaveness Lingfeng was next.
The Joyful Goddess Lele was the next to succeed as she muttered weakly, "For a second, I thought that I am a complete failure."
Ye Yin heaved a soft sigh of relief as her second fingertip was lit.
It was followed by Shen Xingyue, Yu'Er and Mei'Er as well!
Han Lin broke into a cold sweat as she finally lit her second fingertip!
She muttered, "For a second, I thought I fail…"
Yi Ping looked around and saw that Lie Qing, Yunzi and Youxue were still trying and did not succeed…
He was saddened as he thought, "They have skipped several celestial stages to reach the Celestial Realm. It is a good thing now that they are Golden Celestials now. I should be grateful…"
All of a sudden Lie Qing, Youxue and Yunzi succeeded at the same time much to the delight of Yi Ping and the rest of the group.
Lie Qing smiled weakly, "Hey. Don't stare at us like this. The remnants of the Invincible Divine Clan are not weak!"
Lie Qing, Youxue and Yunzi were all practitioners of the Invincible Divine Force.
Alice muttered silently to Isa and Xiang, "They are the practitioners of the Invincible Divine Force and this Lie Qing is extremely powerful. If I am not mistaken, she has actually attained the eleventh level of the Invincible Divine Force."
Isa and Xiang were obviously startled as they exchanged silently among themselves via the Great Divine Whispering Skill, "The highest level that we had previously encountered was the tenth and he was already Invincible in the Immortal Realm."
Xiang added, "There is a vast difference between a mortal, a celestial and an immortal that are all at the tenth level. But a eleventh level is unheard of. Can she equal an immortal of the ninth invincible level?"
Isa said, "Maybe yes, maybe no. First of all, there is still a gap between the martial strength of an immortal and a celestial practitioner. Moreover she is still without the benefit of the Heaven Eyes. Without the added martial strength of the Heaven Eyes, she may not fare too well against an immortal of the Heaven Positioning even."
Alice murmured quietly, "Still, she is one more step toward the true completion of the Invincible Divine Force. I have always thought that the eleventh and the twelfth is a mythical level."
She had never seen Lie Qing displaying her eleventh invincible divine force, only the tenth. But after witnessing it once in the Astronomic Stellar Formation, she was convinced that Lie Qing had reached the eleventh level.
She could tell based on her fighting experiences.
Isa added, "I don't like her divine sword. That is a dark sword. And the divine sword of that Ye Yin also. The history of these dark swords…"
Xiang took over from her, "…are dark indeed…"
Yixian was smiling to everyone, "Good! We can all continue to the next step together!"
She took a deep breath, "The first immortal stage Intricacy Focus as the name suggests, requires the full focus of the practitioner's intricacy energies. Any practitioner that has cleared their life and death channel won't find it difficult. Just focus with the intricacy formula of the Deific Divine Skill will do."
Yi Ping smiled weakly. It took him some effort to light his third fingertip.
It was because he was not an expert practitioner in the internal arts.
Lele laughed, "I have done it!"
Yunzi had also succeeded as she gave Yi Ping a smile.
Yi Ping however was a little startled, "Yunzi, you have cleared your life and death channels?"
Yunzi nodded, "My new protégé master, the Immortal Saint of Swords helped me. He is really kind to me. He has actually expended his vital strength for my sake…"
Yi Ping was solemn. If he had expended his vital strength then would his fighting strength suffered as a result? It was because he knew that the sword skills of the Infinity Sword Celestial Sect depended on their vital energies…
He began to bore a grudging respect for the Immortal Saint of Swords as he thought, "I feel so bad now…"
Lie Qing and Youxue had succeeded also.
It was followed quickly by Ye Yin, Shen Xingyue, Yu'Er and Mei'Er!
Yi Ping looked around and saw that Lingfeng and his protégé master had also succeeded.
Han Lin was the last but she managed to succeed too.
Again all of them had succeeded!
But that was only the very first stage of the Immortal Practice…
Yixian smiled, "Not bad. Let's us keep trying. The next one will be the Linker Spirits. Focus your spirit and will together as you recite the intricacy formula of the Deific Divine Skill."
Yi Ping exercised his Absolute Spirits as he began to recite the Deific Divine Skill. Immediately his fourth fingertip began to light up!
He said delightfully, "Xian'Er, I have succeeded!"
Yixian smiled gently at him, "You are good…"
But the Goddess Aiel interrupted with a soft laugh, "Yi Ping is also another cheater. It is obviously he is already at the Seventh Cosmos Positioning. The next stage Revelation requires the practitioner to be as one with the heavens. Any practitioner that is able to reach the Heavens Positioning will surely be able to grasp the Revelation Stage."
When Yi Ping had heard her calling him a cheater, he immediately lost his concentration and all his lights on his fingertips got extinguished!
He sighed miserably, "Now I have to start over again…"
Lele, Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Lingfeng, Shen Xingyue, Han Lin and Ye Yin broke into jovial laughter as they chuckled!
"Poor Yi Ping!"
Yi Ping saw that the seven of them had also succeeded.
Lie Qing, Yunzi, Youxue and the Universal Old Man were the next to succeed.
Again a hundred percent success rate.
Yixian smiled, "The next step is a little difficult. It takes me quite a while to figure it out. For this Revelation is the divine state of the great empathy. To feel the heavens and the earth, an empathy over the vast boundless cosmos."
Yi Ping muttered, "To feel the vast boundless cosmos…"
He closed his eyes as he focused.
What was it?
All of a sudden Lingfeng whispered into his ears secretly, "Silly. It is almost similar to the Great Emptiness Translucence. You should be able to do it. Clear your thoughts as you listened with your eyes, see with your ears! Then you can be linked empathically with your surroundings!"
Yi Ping had a sudden realized as he muttered, "Thank you, Lingfeng…"
When he opened his eyes again, five of his fingertips were glowing.
He was absolutely delighted as he looked around him.
Lele, Lingfeng, the Universal Old Man, Ye Yin, Yu'Er, Mei'Er and Shen Xingyue had also succeeded.
But Han Lin, Lie Qing, Youxue, and Yunzi were showing signs of disappointment and they seemed to have given it up.
Alice said quietly, "It is already good enough."
Lie Qing smiled weakly, "Guess our foundation is at Revelation."
Han Lin sighed softly, "So shall it be!"
Yixian said, "The next stage is the Heaven Eyes…"
Except for the Universal Old Man, Shen Xingyue and Ye Yin, the rest had already awakened their Heaven Eyes.
Needless to say, the three of them were unable to advance further.
The Universal Old Man muttered, "So I am at the Heaven Eyes staging now."
Shen Xingyue smiled, "So I guess I will try to figure out myself then."
Ye Yin laughed softly as she winked at Lie Qing, "I am one immortal stage further than you, so it seems."
Lie Qing chuckled softly, "Don't be too happy yet. My martial skills are better suit to face the divine calamity than yours."
Ye Yin laughed, "We shall see then."
Now only Lele, Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Lingfeng and Yi Ping were left.
It was obvious that just as the Goddess of Mercy had predicted earlier, some of them may be at the Primordial Core Immortal Stage!
Except for Lele, that was actually the furthest that they could go.
Yixian said gently, "Now we need to figure out a way to understand the Primordial Core Immortal Stage and advance to the next immortal stage."
Yi Ping nodded, "No hurry. Let's us be on our way first."
Lele blurred out, "Wait a minute. Who is going to show me how to light my seventh fingertip for the Primordial Core?"
Yixian smiled, "I haven't figured it out. Even if I have figured it out, I don't think I will be able to get pass this immortal stage. It seems like a big hurdle to overcome."
Yi Ping smiled weakly, "Actually we are all waiting for Lele to share with us."
Lele blinked her eyes several times, "I don't know either!"
She took a look at Aiel, Alice, Isa and Xiang, "Do you happen to know?"
Xiang smiled, "Unfortunately, we are all born immortals so we don't know either. But even if we do know, we won't tell you!"
Lele gave a stupefied expression…
Yi Ping laughed softly, "Lele, this Deific Divine Skill is to help us to track our immortal progression. It is not the real immortal practice itself. We still need to understand intimately each of the immortal stages."
With the earlier experiments, Yi Ping knew that his Intricacy Focus and Linker Spirits were weaker than his Revelation and Heaven Eyes. So these were the areas that he had to improve upon!
All of a sudden the Goddess Celestial Alice turned ashen as she gave a stern warning, "Wait everyone, don't move first…"
Because there were too many of them and not enough time, it took them a while to heed Alice's warning but then it was already too late as the entire passage began to shake violently.
Heavy metallic sounds could be heard booming in the distant and the entire passageway was creeping with malevolent aura!
Yi Ping asked panicky, "What is happening?!"
Alice replied weakly, "We have just triggered a defense formation. Be on our alert. We have company…"
Yi Ping did not wait for Alice to finish and he had already brandished his divine sword!