The middle passage was identical to the passage before; beautiful, grand, towering, imposing and immense with a sense of mystery.
Barely had Yi Ping and his group stepped into this passage for ten minutes, two sudden imploding light had burst in front of them!
Lingfeng shouted a warning, "It is the sentinels of the Stellar Sanctuary. Be wary!"
Two gigantic wolves with fiery breath had emerged from the implosions and were charging toward them now!
Their presence was terrifying and the atmosphere was filled with their killing malevolent!
Immediately their entire group had readied a defensive stance to brace for the fight. It seemed that contact would be made in another thirty seconds at the current pace that the two monsters were moving toward them!
The Goddess of Mercy gasped aloud, followed by the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Aiel and the Heaveness Lingfeng. "These are Hellhounds!"
The golden Kirin cub that was in Alice's arms began to howl furiously!
Alice whispered softly, "Don't be afraid…"
Immediately the golden Kirin cub calmed down as it curbed in her arms.
The Goddess of Mercy Gusu Xiang said panicky, "And these Hellhounds are very dangerous. But luckily there are only two of them so with some luck, we can still manage them!"
Yi Ping had already unsheathed the Celestial Alice as he eyed the two monsters. Even though every part of his soul wanted to fight these monsters but his arms were trembling!
Yixian had raised the Heavenly Tears Divine Sword with a graceful display, "How…strong are these monsters?"
The Goddess Isa replied solemnly, "One of them is equaled to an Immortal of the Lesser Heaven Positioning in strength alone! Look out also for their terrifying agility and their fiery breath weapon!"
Yi Ping was startled, "Breath weapon?"
The Goddess Isa nodded, "They are capable of breathing out fiery incinerating fire!"
The Goddess of Mercy nodded weakly, "The Divine Trinity Fire is the name of this incinerating fire. Once it starts to burn, it will never extinguish until nothing is left."
Yi Ping smiled bitterly as he thought to himself, "Only two of them. With some luck we can still manage them. Maybe by Maiden Xiang's immortal standards but definitely not by our standards…"
The celestial practitioners in the group were cursing softly and they were thinking the same as Yi Ping!
Ten seconds to first contact!
Yi Ping was extremely solemn as he took a quick glance around him.
The strength of their party status of their group at the quickest estimate:
Yi Ping (5%)
Celestial Fairy Yixian (20%)
Heavenly Temptress Lie Qing (30%)
Joyful Goddess Lele (40%)
Eclipse Heaven Goddess Yujian (20%)
Axis Heaven Goddess Meijian (20%)
Dugu Yunzi (20%)
Xiao Youxue (20%)
Shen Xingyue (30%)
Ascension Goddess Ye Yin (40%)
Heaveness Lingfeng (20%)
Universal Old Man (5%)
Goddess Aiel (20%)
Han Lin (20%)
Goddess Isa (5%)
Goddess of Mercy Gusu Xiang (10%)
Goddess Celestial Alice (5%)
So it seemed that only Lie Qing, Lele, Ye Yin and Shen Xingyue are the only capable fighters left now.
Just as Lele, Yixian, Mei'Er, Yu'Er, Lie Qing, Yunzi, Youxue, Ye Yin, Lingfeng, Aiel and Han Lin had taken steps forward to brace themselves for the monsters' charge, the Goddess Celestial Alice suddenly flurried past them as she turned around, "Wait!"
Everyone was startled by her!
Yi Ping was really afraid for her as her back was turned against the Hellhounds.
He quickly stepped protective in front of her!
But Alice said coolly as she gently put her hands on his arm, "Look, there is an invisible wall in front of us. As long as we don't step through this invisible wall then we are safe. But if we step through this invisible wall then these Hellhounds will be able to attack us."
Disbelief greeted the rest of the group as well!
Yi Ping was startled and not quite believing it. But when he saw how calm Alice was, he began to calm down as well.
Lele asked panicky, "Oh really?"
Han Lin was staring in disbelief, "I don't see any invisible wall…"
Aiel immediately said to her, "Of course you can't see it, it is invisible."
Han Lin said unhappily, "I am supposed to feel impress at your wisecracks?"
Lingfeng asked, "There is an invisible sealing wall in front of us?"
Alice nodded, "And it is also an extremely intricate one. Even an immortal can easily miss it."
The Goddess Isa nodded, "Indeed!"
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The Goddess of Mercy said, "If Alice did not mention it, I would have overlooked it. Don't attack these Hellhounds first because they cannot attack us either. But if we launch any attack or secret projectiles, this invisible sealing formation will react and extend. Then we will all be in danger."
Indeed as she had said, the two monstrous Hellhounds had suddenly halted its charge and were just standing restlessly in front of them!
Yi Ping began to lower his sword slowly as he said solemnly, "Do we turn back now?"
Lingfeng said quietly, "The other passages may not be as easy. Sometimes a non-combat trial can be even more difficult than a combat trial."
Youxue nodded, "Our martial strength and level of fitness is actually the crux to overcome the trials of the Stellar Sanctuary. It doesn't matter what the trial is."
Yunzi looked at Yi Ping demurely, "Or we can simply wait here until we are ready?"
Yi Ping smiled at Yunzi, "That is right. We can simply wait here until we have at least half of our martial strength back!"
Alice hummed coldly, "Not a bad plan except that this won't work at all."
Yi Ping turned to her with a baffled look and everyone else was equally baffled!
She explained, "This is a special defensive sealing formation and it will only appear under a certain set condition. If we wait after some time then this formation will fade. So it may not be a good thing."
Han Lin asked humbly, "Great Goddess, isn't this a good thing? Then we don't have to fight anymore."
Han Lin had indeed voiced out the question that was in everyone's heart!
Yi Ping was listening attentively and he was muttering, "Isn't it a good thing?"
Yu'Er asked, "May the Great Goddess enlightens us!"
Alice replied, "It may not be the case. This sealing formation will actually take us to another location if we are able to overcome it. If we wait for it to fade then the passage ahead will not be the supposedly secret location anymore."
Yu'Er immediately understood, "The passage ahead is just an illusion. Even though the passage ahead appears to be a one-way but multiple results can actually happen depending on our actions."
Alice smiled, "Smart."
Yi Ping said quietly, "It is far too dangerous for us to tackle it at our present party strength."
Alice nodded slowly as she looked at him, "Even if we all barge into this formation now, the secret location won't be able to appear either."
Everyone was startled as they startled to murmur among themselves!
Alice explained, "If we all barge into this formation, we may also cause the special entrance of this sealing formation to redirect us to another location. It is because this special formation is meant for only for the right persons with the right condition."
She glanced at Lie Qing and Ye Yin.
Ye Yin immediately got the hint as she stepped forward, "Isn't it obvious? This special sealing formation is activated only because of our Darkswords. And there are only two monsters."
Lie Qing murmured softly, "That is right. If Ye Yin and I are able to win then we will be redirected to a secret location within the Stellar Sanctuary…."
She looked at her Perpetual Darkness as she inhaled deeply, "Our divine swords guide us here for a reason therefore I mustn't disappoint my divine sword."
The Ascension Goddess Ye Yin said quietly, "The same goes for me."
Yi Ping said firmly, "Qing'Er, Ye Yin. This is really too dangerous…"
All of a sudden Lie Qing flew into his embrace as she said melancholy, "Ping'Er, please understand that this is something that we must do. There is a price to be paid for bonding with our divine swords. Just like…"
She glanced at Alice as she muttered, "…just like your divine sword is bonded to you through destiny. This is our destiny and our fight. Whether we live or die, it is also our destiny…"
Lele and Yixian were immediately at her side, "Qing'Er!…"
Yixian pleaded softly, "Please do consider. Once you have decided then there is no backing off!"
Lele said panicky, "Sister Lie Qing, are you sure? These two monsters are extremely powerful. You mustn't be rush. We can always come back to the Stellar Sanctuary the next time!"
Lie Qing smiled weakly, "I have a feeling there won't be a next time. Anyway, my mind is made up."
Lele looked at Ye Yin, "Sister Ye Yin, are you sure about it too?"
Ye Yin smiled, "This is my destiny too. You will be concern for me?"
Lele said quickly, "Of course! We may not go through many adventures together but I am always been impressed by you. Especially with your battle against the Immortal Sword Aegis Sage. I wish I can be as skillful as you!"
Ye Yin smiled softly, "Really? Hehe, I didn't know that I have a fan."
Yu'Er, Mei'Er and Xingyue had also surrounded her as they said quietly, "And you still have us too."
Shen Xingyue smiled to her one time rival, "You are my strongest rival so I won't allow you to die before me!"
Ye Yin muttered, "Xingyue…I am so sorry for the past. I wish that we have more time to get to know each other better. Well, am I getting too emotional?"
Shen Xingyue shook her head, "No, you are not. You are strong!"
Yi Ping grasped the hands of Lie Qing and Ye Yin as he shuddered emotionally, "I know now. So fight well and come back safe!"
Ye Yin muttered, "Yi Ping…"
Lie Qing inhaled deeply, "Ping'Er…"
Yi Ping embraced the both of them as he cried out, "The two of you are irreplaceable in my heart!"
Lie Qing laughed softy as she rested her head on his warm chest, "You have finally spoken from the bottom of your heart. This is what I have always wanted to hear from you. But you are making me so awkward…"
Ye Yin was clinging warmly on him as she wrapped her arm around Yi Ping, "If the Great God Yi Ping says he wants us to come back then we will surely be able to…"
"Qing'Er, Ye Yin…"
Lie Qing was really delighted as she clenched Yi Ping's sleeves tightly. It was because she was naturally suspicious of men but Yi Ping was an exception.
She muttered, "Yi Ping, I am going now…"
"Wait!" It was Alice!
Everyone began to look at her curiously.
All of a sudden Alice put down the golden Kirin cub and began to disrobe herself, stunning Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man!
Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man were looking at her as though they wanted to devour her. It was because she was dressed in a black translucent garment and in a short revealing skirt. Her clothes were so translucent that they really had a good view of her body…
Yi Ping was so dazzled that he had to recite the Absolute Spirits to keep himself calm in the face of this extraordinary heavenly goddess.
The jaws of the Universal Old Man were already dropping…
She raised her eyebrows as she said gently in the direction of the Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man, "What are you thinking?"
The Universal Old Man had noticed that the Heaveness Lingfeng and the Goddess Aiel were both staring at him that he quickly said, "I am wondering if all the immortal maidens in the Immortal Realm…erm…are as beautiful as you…"
The Goddess Aiel said coldly, "You mean dress as we are?"
The Universal Old Man was totally red now but he could not resist giving a nod.
The Goddess Aiel replied, "Naturally that is the case."
Alice smiled wryly, "Or none at all. That is quite common in the Immortal Realm."
The Goddess of Mercy protested weakly, "Only the Zen Practitioners. Not the Arhat Practitioners!"
All of sudden Yi Ping and the Universal Old Man almost choked themselves when they had heard Alice!
That was because they could not imagine if Alice, Aiel, Isa and Xiang were without clothes…
Yi Ping had suddenly decided that it was actually such a bad idea to go to the Immortal Realm…
The Universal Old Man on the other hand was full of motivations to go to the Immortal Realm…
"Master Yi Ping, you are nose bleeding! Are you alright?" Mei'Er panicky asked after Yi Ping.
Lingfeng hummed coldly, "And he is not the only one."
The Universal Old Man muttered, "Don't be mistaken. My internal injuries have worsened all of a sudden…"
Lingfeng said coldly, "Oh really?"
The Universal Old Man nodded awkwardly, "Really…err I am a highly attained Ancient Celestial who has no mortal desires…"
The Universal Old Man had received quite a number of responses!
"Yi Ping, what about you?"
Yi Ping muttered awkwardly, "I have internal injuries too…"
"Yi Ping, I believe you…"
"Ping'Er, are you alright?"
The Universal Old Man cursed softly as he thought, "This is so unfair…same excuse, different treatment…"
The Goddess Aiel looked quietly at him, "What is wrong? You want to go to the Immortal Realm to take a look?"
The Universal Old Man replied weakly, "You know it is my lifelong quest to go to the Immortal Realm. So naturally I have to go there."
The Goddess Aiel began to smile mysteriously, "When you have reached the Immortal Realm, you will see."
Just as the Universal Old Man was left pondering what she meant, Han Lin offered him a helpful insight as she giggled. "You know, the male immortals in the Immortal Realm could all be eunuchs. Or else why do you think all the female immortals are single?"
The Universal Old Man began to turn ashen immediately at the thought!
The Goddess Aiel pretended to look sternly at Han Lin, "Don't scare him. You know nothing about the Immortal Realm. This is only your own conjecture."
Han Lin protest weakly, "Why don't you say yes or no to my conjecture…"
Alice had walked quietly to Ye Yin as she handed her outer garment to Ye Yin, "You may have the celestium robe but that is not enough to protect you against the incarnating fire of the Divine Trinity Fire. My Heavenly Empress Robe will be able to offer you some protection."
The Goddess Aiel muttered with envy, "The Heavenly Empress Robe is a priceless immortal artefact even in the Immortal Realm…"
Ye Yin was shocked at the Goddess Celestial Alice had granted her the use of her Heavenly Empress Robe. She smiled weakly, "I have heard that the gifts of the immortals are not easily given but once it is given, it won't be taken back?"
Alice nodded gently, "You are right. The concept of loan does not exist among the Immortals."
Ye Yin was stunned, "I…I can really keep this?"
Alice answered, "Indeed. From now on, you are the mistress of the Heavenly Empress Robe until the day you have died."
Ye Yin was startled, "Until the day I have died? You mean that I still have to return it to you?"
Alice smiled wryly, "Therefore if you want to keep the Heavenly Empress Robe, you must survive."
Ye Yin laughed softly, "If I die in a faraway place then you may not be able to lay your hands to it. Moreover if I am dead, I can't possibly return it to you."
The Goddess Isa, the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess Aiel were all giggling softly!
Ye Yin was startled by them as she asked curiously, "What is wrong?"
Isa explained, "Things are different in the Immortal Realm. The act of giving and granting is sacred among the immortals. But if an immortal grants an immortal artefact to another, the person will be granted possession till death or until the original granter revokes it and decide to take it away. In the case of death, the immortal artefact will fly back to the original granter on its own accord. Now you get it?"
Ye Yin answered unhappily, "I understand that part about the immortal artefact flying back to the original granter but what do you mean that the original granter can choose to revoke it and take it back? Isn't this the same as lending?"
The Goddess Isa laughed softly, "It is still not the same!"
Ye Yin asked, "Why so?"
Isa explained, "The original granter must have just reasons to revoke the gift. Without justifications, the immortal artefact will refuse to return to the original granter. Now you understand?"
Ye Yin nodded slowly…
Yi Ping said, "That is why at that time Isa is able to cause her divine sword to return to her side…"
Yixian nodded gently, "It seems that all the divine artefacts have a level of sentient."
Alice smiled to her, "However, there are exceptions too."
Yi Ping asked, "There are exceptions? Such as?"
Alice looked at him blankly for a while before she looked away, "It happens to the Celestial Alice. It did not return to me when he passed on…"
Yi Ping really regretted asking the question. It was because he had noticed that she had turned melancholy all of a sudden!
Alice said gently to Lie Qing, "I have nothing for you. At your present strength, you may not be able to utilize your Invincible Divine Force to the fullest but you shouldn't have any problem with the Divine Trinity Fire. It is not our way to extend wishes but today I am going to say good luck to you. May the Heavens watch over you."
Lie Qing smiled, "Thank you! I am so honored to receive a blessing from the Great Goddess herself!"
She winked to Ye Yin, "Are you ready, Ye Yin?"
Ye Yin laughed softly as she brandished her Despairing Heavenly, "I have been waiting for you."
Lie Qing laughed as she mustered her Invincible Divine Force, "Good! Let's go!"
The Ascension Goddess Ye Yin had already burst forward!
Yi Ping called aloud after them, "Be careful!"
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