As Yi Ping and his group entered the shimmering portal into the next level of the Stellar Sanctuary, many of them were still stupefied by the stunning martial display of the Goddess Celestial Alice!
It was because when they had imagined themselves to be in Alice's position when the Abominating White Ape King's plummeting fist had come crashing down, they would instantly be flattened on the spot!
Alice had noticed their continuous stares as they appeared in a forested area. She smiled gently, "That is because I didn't want to waste time dispatching a minor nuisance when there is a bigger menace waiting for us. If there is a hidden opponent that is watching us to take advantage of us then we will really be in fine fix."
Isa agreed, "Aye!"
That was exactly what she was thinking as well!
Asura, Xiang, Ye Yin, Lie Qing, Yunzi and Youxue were also nodding as well!
Alice took a quick glance at the black monument that was next to them as she said gently, "It appears that we are on the 56th level now."
Yi Ping said, "We have traversed eight levels this time. Now we are more than halfway through the Stellar Sanctuary now."
He took a deep breath as he looked at the airy surroundings. There were high mountains and trees were dotting spaciously everywhere. It was a welcoming experience from the bitter cold environment that they were in earlier!
The Universal Old Man patted his belly, "I have always wondered what the Stellar Sanctuary is like when we are halfway through. Today, I am actually looking at it. It is such a strange feeling…"
The Immortal Saint of Swords said, "Same here. I have never got past the 50 levels before either."
The Lord Supreme was also nodding as he began to look at his surroundings just like the rest of the group.
Everyone was already asking the same question in their hearts; which way should they go now? It was because picking a direction to move forward in an open vicinity was unlike that of an enclose passageway. The first thing that everyone was looking at was of course at the terrains and the hidden dangers!
All of a sudden a plummet of upward debris could be heard in the distance!
Immediately Yi Ping, Alice, Isa, Youxue, Shen Xingyue, Lingfeng and all the others said at the same time, "Let's go!"
After all they needed a direction to go to and the commotion ahead was just the thing that got them started!
Lingfeng tapped her forehead gently, "Oh heavens! Why is that I am in a company of such daredevils…"
But she was actually one of the first to display her swiftness movement ahead of the others!
It seemed that she had given up on cautioning them!
The Universal Old Man was smiling bitterly as he panicky called out, "My Heaveness…wait!"
When they had all reached the vicinity where the commotion had started, they were startled by what they had seen. It was because hundreds of celestial and immortal practitioners could be seen gathering in the vicinity and their attentions seemed to be seized by several ensuring duels!
Maybe there were even more than a thousand of them!
Their expressions were all solemn; they paid no attention to Yi Ping and his group until they were within their visible sights!
What were they watching?
An old man was fighting a middle age immortal practitioner and had appeared to be toying around with him!
Yi Ping did not recognized the old man but he had immediately recognized that the injured immortal practitioner was the Skylord Jun, an Arhat Practitioner and he was also one of the Eight Heavenly Dragon Generals!
He had not expected to see him so soon. It was because there were numerous gates in each of the level of the Stellar Sanctuary and it was almost impossible to encounter each other if the route that was taken was different!
Yi Ping naturally did not know that after they had parted, this Skylord Jun had actually ascended further up the Stellar Sanctuary, first to the 55th level and later to the 56th level!
Now that Yi Ping and his group had appeared, almost all the bystanders were now looking and gasping at the same time!
It was because their group was simply too hard to be unnoticed, drawing stares of admirations and awe as they walked quietly into their midst!
Yi Ping naturally knew that he was not the center of the attraction because almost all the crowd was muttering at the same time, "The Goddess Celestial Alice! She is here?! The Goddess Theocracy!"
And many of them had actually stepped aside out of fear!
But Alice said gently, "Don't be afraid. I won't eat anyone. You are all free to explore the Stellar Sanctuary now."
But instead of greeting her with excitement, the practitioners were quiet and they seemed to looking at her with pleading eyes instead!
The old man kicked Skylord Jun aside as he stared fiercely at Alice, "The Goddess Celestial Alice? The Empress of the Three Known Realms?"
Alice swept quickly with her glances as she replied coldly, "I am the Eternal Goddess of the Three Known Realms. I have never dared to proclaim myself to be the Empress of the Three Known Realm!"
The old man smiled wryly, "What is the difference?"
By now, Yi Ping had already noticed that many of the practitioners were injured and there were even a few corpses!
He clenched his fists angrily as he stared at the old man!
The old man hummed coldly as he said, "Alice, why haven't you paid your full condolences to me yet? Have you forgotten who I am yet?"
Alice said quietly, "You are the Sovereign Wind Heavenly King…"
Yi Ping was startled that this old man was a heavenly king and he clenched his fists tightly. It was because it was all too obvious to him that everyone was held in fear by him!
There was a sudden laughter behind the Sovereign Wind Heavenly King and a handsome refined man had stepped forward with his silver fan!
Yi Ping had immediately recognized him as Yong Le, who was the Right Protector of the Martial Deviant Clan!
Yong Le was laughing as he waved his silver fan and behind him were two other old men!
These two men had an equally fearsome aura as the Sovereign Wind Heavenly King!
Aiel gasped as she took a stumbling step backward, "The Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King and the Sovereign Cloud Heavenly King!"
Even Alice seemed to turn ashen when she had seen them!
Yong Le appraised the Goddess Celestial Alice as he laughed aloud, "So you are the Eternal Goddess of the Three Known Realms? You are indeed as heavenly and beautiful as they had claimed!"
Alice hummed coldly, "Insolent mortal!"
If he was not being surrounded by three Heavenly Kings, she would have taught him a lesson immediately!
Yong Le had also noticed Yi Ping, the Lord Supreme, Aiel and the Immortal Saint of Swords as he laughed, "So it seems that I have some old acquaintances here."
By now, Yi Ping had already noticed that all the celestial practitioners that were presented here were actually all from the Martial Deviant Clan!
Aiel asked curiously, "You are Yong Le the Right Protector of the Martial Deviant Clan?"
Yong Le looked at her intently, "Wrong! I am Yong Le the protégé leader of the Martial Deviant Clan now. I have seen you before. You are the Celestial Mistress of the Celestial Aiel Sect. What a surprise. It seems that our clan fights have not ended yet…"
He waved his hands to point at the hundreds of celestial and immortal practitioners that were around him, "These are all my men! If you are wise, you should swear fealty to me immediately!"
Next he looked at Yi Ping and Isa wryly, "I didn't forget the two of you after you have left. You have left quite an impression on me. Likewise, I will give you an option to join me."
Yi Ping had already tapped Skylord Jun gently as he helped him to lift him, "Are you alright?"
Skylord Jun muttered, "We…are not their match…alas!"
Many of the immortal practitioners began to lower their heads in shame!
Yi Ping then looked at Yong Le, "What if I refuse to?"
Yong Le laughed, "Then don't blame me for being ruthless!"
Alice interrupted, "To think that our three Heavenly Kings will be willing to serve a lowly celestial as their master? What a joke!"
The Sovereign Wind Heavenly King had been staring at Han Lin for some time or rather at the Green Dragon Sacred Sword that was by her side!
He seemed to be provoked by Alice as he smirked coldly, "Do you know who he is? Do you know that he is to be the next destined Great God?"
Yi Ping, Alice and all the others were startled!
Isa immediately said defiantly, "Rubbish! Because the next Great God…"
But she quickly kept quiet when she realized that it was none to wise to reveal what she had known about Yi Ping!
Yong Le laughed it off as he tapped the sword that was by his side. It was obvious that he was subtly trying to show off his divine sword in front of everyone!
"It seemed that I have forgotten to formally introduce myself to the newcomers." He laughed again, "I am now the newly appointed Martial Grandmaster of the Martial Deviant Clan. And these people…"
He pointed to the rest of the bystanders, "…are all my newly recruited followers."
The Sovereign Wind Heavenly King, Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King and Sovereign Cloud Heavenly King echoed at the same time, "That is right!"
Yi Ping and the rest of his group were all startled!
That was to say that even the powerful Heavenly Kings were willing to serve under this Yong Le? Just who was this Yong Le exactly and why did the all-powerful Heavenly Kings be willing to serve under a mere celestial practitioner?"
Yong Le was looking at Alice and all the rest of the maidens as though he could swallow them at any time as he smirked mockingly, "And the rest of you are welcome to join me. We will be one clan. We will be the most powerful celestial and immortal clan in the entire history of the Three Known Realms. What do you say?"
He waved his silver fan at the numerous dead, "Or do you want to suffer the same fate as them?"
Yi Ping, Alice, Isa, Youxue and many of their group hummed with contempt at this lofty suggestion!
Skylord Jun whispered to Yi Ping, "Alas, I don't blame you even if you yield. We are really not their match…but I rather die than yield to them…"
Yi Ping said gently to him, "I am not yielding either."
The Goddess of Mercy Xiang said to the Skylord Jun, "We, the Arhat Practitioners are going to prove that we have more backbones than those Zen Practitioners!"
She had already noticed that the majority of the immortals that were slain were the Arhat Practitioners.
When she had said that, immediately several more Arhat Practitioners and many of the Zen Practitioners began to shift closer to her side!
One Zen Practitioner even muttered, "Why are we being so afraid of them? The Goddess of Mercy is here and so does the Goddess Celestial Alice…"
Another said, "Even the Goddess Asura is also here…"
Yet another said, "Isn't that the Goddess Isa too? The Battle Maiden…"
"Surely, maybe we do stand a chance…"
Yong Le said coldly, "Don't ever think of it. Don't forget your sacred oaths to me."
Immediately everyone fell into deep silence!
Yong Le proceeded to laugh as he looked at Yi Ping and his group, "Like all the others, I am going to give you a chance. If you are able to defeat one of my respected protégé uncles here then you can leave or else you have to join me, provided that is, if you are able to survive the duel!"
At this point, Yi Ping did not know that Yong Le and his followers had been stopping everyone at every point of the Stellar Sanctuary to join his cause. However it was more like using everyone else as cannon fodder so that he would be able to ascend the Stellar Sanctuary without expending any real effort!
Yi Ping was startled as he looked at each of the Heavenly Kings, "They…are your protégé uncles?!"
Even Alice seemed to be shocked by it as she asked, "Just who are you?"
Yong Le waved his silver fan as he roared with laughter, "Just who I am? Just who I am? I may as well tell you so that you may cast away all others wishful dreams of opposing me. I am the next successor to the Great God Pangu!"
Alice immediately interjected coldly, "Rubbish!"
The Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King gave a cold smirk, "You have better believe it!"
Alice seemed to stare at Yong Le for a while before she said solemnly, "You…your sense…you have eaten the heart of a Heavenly King?"
Yong Le spread his arms, "So you can now tell that my state of divinity is now much higher than you, my Goddess Celestial Alice? Don't worry, you will be my consort and we will share the Three Known Realms together!"
Alice hummed coldly as she said, "I despise the dark practitioners the most!"
Yong Le shrugged it off, "We have all eternity to get to know each other so I am not worried anyway."
Isa interrupted coldly, "Shameless!"
Yi Ping had already stepped forward as he asked coldly, "You say that if anyone of us can defeat one of the Heavenly Kings, we can go free?"
Yong Le replied coldly, "Indeed!"
Yi Ping said coldly as he stepped forward, "Let me be the one that will be the first challenger then!"
Yunzi, Asura, Isa and all the others panicky tried to dissuade Yi Ping but he had brandished the Celestial Alice Divine Sword as he displayed the Heaven Forward Stance!
Yi Ping said gently to them, "Someone has to be first. Someone has to fight these evildoers."
The Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King laughed aloud and as he laughed, trembling martial shockwaves could be felt by everyone. "Then let me be the one that will teach you a humble lesson!"
Yong Le fanned his silver fan with murderous intent on Yi Ping, "Very good, you are indeed courageous. I like that. Protégé Uncle, I hope that you will be merciful to him."
The Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King laughed, "Surely I will!"
Yi Ping was smiling bitterly. It was because he had experienced many wiles of the martial fraternity previously. It was obvious to him that this Yong Le was asking the Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King not to show him any mercy and that he was praising him so that he would not back off of this fight!
Lie Qing muttered, "Be careful!"
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Yong Le suddenly said, "Hold!"
Yi Ping growled, "What is wrong?"
Yong Le laughed, "We should make this fight a little fairer and exciting, don't you think?"
Yi Ping was puzzled, "What do you mean?"
Yong Le replied coldly, "You have such a big group here. If every one of you is to fight my protégé uncles one by one, won't it be unfair to them?"
Lie Qing and Lingfeng were both upset!
Lie Qing said coldly, "I doubt we can even wear down one of the Heavenly Kings on our own. Moreover it is a one to one fight!"
Lingfeng said sarcastically, "A fair fight? You can tell me about that."
Yi Ping said solemnly, "What do you propose?"
Yong Le clapped his silver fan with his hand as he answered, "I will propose a five versus five fight. How about the majority wins? Isn't it the fairest option?"
Yi Ping turned pale immediately as he said coldly, "You call this fair?!"
Yong Le laughed coldly, "Definitely. You are afraid and dare not take the challenge?"
Yi Ping tightened his grip on the Celestial Alice…
Yong Le waved his silver fan, "How about this? If your group manages to win, I will release everyone from their oaths to the Martial Deviant Clan and they are all free to go!"
Immediately there were several hundreds of mutterings from the bystanders!
Yi Ping immediately looked up, "Do you mean it?"
Yong Le laughed aloud, "For sure. This, you don't have to worry. I have always been an honorable gentleman!"
Aiel said coldly, "This sort of things coming from a member of a major dark celestial clan really makes me creepy!"
Yi Ping lifted his eyes as he stared at Yong Le and the Sovereign Thunder Heavenly King, "Then I will accept the challenge!"
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