The sounds of fighting seemed to have ceased all of a sudden to a deadly silence!
When Yi Ping, Alice and Isa arrived at the middle of the hall, thick smog was still everywhere but the fighting seemed to have stopped as everyone could be seen gathering one by one around the brilliant stellar light of the Flower of Life!
And Lele was suspending in mid-air as though she was being held in temporal stasis!
Yi Ping called out panicky to her, "Lele! Lele!"
But there was no response from her; her eyes were closed and she was not even moving!
The Jade Emperor, the Goddess Asura, Yi Si, Ye Ying, the Celestial Liege and the Martial Sage were staring at the scene in front of them; Lele was fluttering in mid-air in the midst of the stellar light!
Her eyes were closed and the unmistakable artefact of the Universal Harmonic Chain was beaming on her bosoms!
Staring at Lele, on the opposite side of the Jade Emperor were Old Man Xuantian the Dark Primordial Heavenly King, Yun Dingzhong the Ascetic Heavenly King and six other Heavenly Kings!
At the same time the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess, the Western Paradise Heavenly King and the Ancient Heavenly Sage King were standing on one side and they were staring fiercely at a group of six heavenly kings!
The expressions on everyone, friends and foes were startled and even more startled when they saw the Divine Golden Kirin that was lumbering behind Yi Ping, Alice and Isa!
The Goddess Aiel and Han Lin were the first group to approach Yi Ping jovially, followed by the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa who looked as fresh as ever and the Goddess of Mercy Gusu Xiang who was looking terribly weary!
Yi Ping was startled as he asked Xiang, "You…are you alright?"
The Goddess of Mercy shot the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa a frightening look and she was trembling, "Yi…Ping…I almost didn't make it to see you…"
Nuwa growled, "What is there to worry? I am there with you. After all, didn't we already settle those four Heavenly Kings?"
Xiang shot Nuwa a cold hateful look. It was obvious she had suffered much and the ordeal that she had been through was too punishing!
Everyone could see that she was literally speechless with the callous attitude of the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa!
The rest of the maidens silently made up their minds never to be alone with Nuwa for no matter whatever the reasons were going to be!
That was because they did not want to be put through the same ordeal as the Goddess of Mercy Xiang!
Yi Ping was also speechless as he stared coldly at Nuwa but he really could not bring himself to be anger with her. When he looked at Nuwa, he was simply reminded by the words of the Great God Pangu to treat her good…
So what else could he do except to sigh regretfully to himself?
He did not know how to comfort Xiang except to grip hold of her hands to say, "I am sorry that I have put you through to this ordeal. Forgive me…"
Xiang shook her head and was comforted by his concern even though she was still trembling nonstop, "I…I am…alright now!"
Yi Ping felt an agonizing pain in his heart when he saw her wretched state and he was determined to make up to her in the future…
It was the Universal Old Man and he was running excitedly to him!
Yi Ping broke into a smile when he saw that his brothers, the Universal Old Man, the Lord Supreme, Skylord Jun and the Immortal Saint of Swords were all safe and sound!
And a broader smile when he saw Yu'Er, Mei'Er, Youxue, Yunzi, Lingfeng, Xingyue and the Ascension Goddess Ye Yin when they appeared out from the smog!
Xian'Er was also here and she was with two Heavenly Kings that he had just fought earlier.
He thought, "Aren't they our opponents earlier?"
Xian'Er smiled as she said to him via their secret dual celestial whispering skill, "I am alright. They are not our foes now and are on our side now…"
Alice gasped immediately, "This is your secret whispering?"
Nuwa appeared to be startled, "Huh? Alice is able to hear us? Does it mean that she is able to dual celestial with Yi Ping as well?"
Lingfeng chuckled, "It does appear to be so! What a surprise. So what is going on? Care to explain it?"
Alice immediately whispered shyly, "I will explain later…"
Yi Ping panicky whispered, "I will explain it to you later. We must save Lele!"
Yixian nodded and said, "She is still alive…"
Nuwa said warily, "The Universal Harmonic Chain is actually an ancient desolate artefact. I have never expected it to be the key to unlock the Flower of Life. And this Lele is actually the key…"
Yun Dingzhong could be heard whispering as he stared coldly at Yi Ping and his group, "Where are the Tribute Heavenly King and the Lord of the Enigma Chaos?"
Somehow everyone knew instinctively that everyone that should be presented here was already here!
There were supposedly to be eight heavenly kings that should be presented but they were all missing now!
Yun Dingzhong and Old Man Xuantian were extremely weary and they were looking at everyone cautiously now that the Tribute Heavenly King was not here.
Others may not know the true strength of the Tribute Heavenly King but for Yun Dingzhong and Old Man Xuantian, they knew how formidable he was!
But if he was killed then the tide of the battle may turn around for them!
Moreover, they were inside the Pangu Monument now, a place that could multiply their afflictions ten times over and it was a place that none of them could recover their martial strength!
Everyone was looking weary and staring at the sight of Lele. None dare to make a false move after the last fight!
The heavenly kings now knew that Yi Ping's group was truly formidable and they were still startled at the disappearance of the other eight heavenly kings!
The Great Insight Heavenly King was cursing softly, "If we all haven't been trying to conserve our martial strengths, this new group will not have the opportunity to stand in front of us! While we are doing so, they were fighting us with everything that they got! Do they even know that their martial strengths are unable to recover in this place?!"
Several of the heavenly kings were nodding and staring coldly at Yi Ping and his group!
The Universal Old Man, the Lord Supreme, the Immortal Saint of Swords and Skylord Jun were solemn; they knew that this Great Insight Heavenly King was indeed speaking the truth. Earlier when they had fought with him, he had purposely spared them.
He had said to them, "Now that only the five of us are here. You can't beat me but I don't want to kill you either. So shall we have a deal?"
The Immortal Saint of Swords was exhausted after executing the Inverting Eternal Occurrence, his most powerful sword technique formation but this Great Insight Heavenly King had actually survived it unscathed!
The Lord Supreme skidded to a side as he gasped out, "…What…do you mean?…"
The Great Insight Heavenly King interrupted with a cold smile, "You can probably see that I have stayed my hand and I have even allowed myself to be hit by you at the cost of my personal wellbeing. So, no hard feelings. You can probably tell that we are split into several groups and some of us have been struck here for several months. We are conserving our strength to obtain the Flower of Life. I can probably obliterate your group in no time but I choose not to."
The Universal Old Man coughed weakly, "What…do you mean?"
All of a sudden the Skylord Jun, the Universal Old Man, the Immortal Saint of Swords and the Lord Supreme had all ceased their attacks as they could see that the Great Insight Heavenly King had suddenly stopped moving.
The Great Insight Heavenly King smiled when they ceased their attacks, "Great. So you are open to negotiations. Listen, I don't want Old Man Xuantian, Yun Dingzhong, the Tribute Heavenly King, the Lord of the Chaos Enigma or any of their group to obtain the Flower of Life for they are dark practitioners. I am not. I have only the lofty ambitions to be the new emperor of the Immortal Realm."
Skylord Jun hummed coldly, "Lofty indeed!"
The Great Insight Heavenly King laughed, "Indeed, indeed. That Yi Ping is indeed formidable and so are the two other maidens that are with him. They are all Eight Immortal Positioning immortals. I admit that I am not their match. If I kill the whole lot of you, I am afraid even before I can obtain the Flower of Life, I will already be killed by him."
The Universal Old Man stammered out, "That is right! If you kill us then Brother Yi Ping will surely avenge us!"
The Lord Supreme added, "So what do you propose?"
The Great Insight Heavenly King laughed as he whispered, "It is nothing really hard. We just pretend not to see each other. I will go my own way and you will go your own way. If your group emerges victorious then I only ask that you will plead on my behalf to give an exit or not to pursue me when you are done. How is that?"
The Immortal Saint of Lords, the Lord Supreme, the Universal Old Man and Skylord Jun said almost at the same time, "Deal!"
The Great Insight Heavenly King nodded, "And so, I will continue on my pretense with the other Heavenly Kings. Don't be offended if I seem to be provoking your group. After all, we don't ever want the other heavenly kings to know that we have already struck an agreement."
The Universal Old Man clapped as he laughed jovially, "Right, right! We will pretend to curse you while you can do the same to us!"
The Great Insight Heavenly King raised his eyes to stare at the Universal Old Man while Lord Supreme muttered, "Do you always have to do something like this all the time?"
The Universal Old Man laughed, "Even though it is only an act but we do have to be convincing!"
Back to the present…
Yi Ping was not in a mood to engage in a staring game with these heavenly kings. Instead, he asked anxiously, "What is going on around here? What has happened to her…"
His voice was not loud but it had reached out to the ears of everyone with crystal precision as though he was just beside them!
Lie Qing was the first to speak as she said with trembling voice, "We are all fighting desperately earlier and Lele was pushed to the edge of the stellar light. The next thing that we see is a brilliant burst of blinding light and Lele was in the middle of the Flower of Life…"
The Goddess Asura was ashen as she added quietly while taking a glance at the Jade Emperor, "Lele has been in this state for some time. We don't know exactly what has happened. Maybe the Jade Emperor knows about it. One of the heavenly kings had tried to grab the Universal Harmonic Chain but he was instantly pulverized into nothingness. Now no one dares to approach the middle."
The Jade Emperor was also trembling as he muttered, "Lele…"
Yi Ping quickly went up to him to bow respectfully, "We have met again. I didn't know that you are the Jade Emperor…"
The Jade Emperor heaved a melancholy sigh as he cast a look at Yi Ping and his group, "So what if I am the Jade Emperor? So what if I am not?"
The Celestial Liege muttered weakly, "It seems that Yi Ping has become so much stronger since the last time that we have met while I am just a newly attained celestial. It seems that it is no longer possible for us to continue on our next duel anymore."
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he hurried a respectful bow with his hands, "Brother-in-law, we have met again!"
He also returned a respectfully bow with his hands to Ye Ling and the Martial Sage, "We have met again…"
The Martial Sage who was just next to the Jade Emperor stumbled forward in a hurry when he saw Xian'Er after giving Yi Ping a hurried bow with his hands, "Xian'Er, how are you?"
Xian'Er smiled gently, "I am good but your injuries are not light. You should recuperate first. I am really glad that you have finally attained as a celestial."
The Martial Sage was in awe and he could not believe his eyes; Xian'Er was even more stunning than the last time that he had seen her. He muttered clumsily, "I was aided by the Jade Emperor. He is the one that helps me to ascend on condition that I help him when I am here…"
Xian'Er nodded gently, "In order for the Jade Emperor to aid you then your attainment must be already be sufficient to ascend. That is to your credits and your hard work in achieving enlightenment."
The Martial Sage replied bashfully, "This…is nothing. I have long given up on the worldly desires and embarked on the path of divinity. Well, almost all worldly desires…"
Xian'Er nodded as she interrupted him gently, "I appreciate that you have always kept me in your heart. I hope that in future you will lend your strength to Yi Ping and to help him in whatever you can."
The Martial Sage slammed his chest with his right hand, "Surely! Anything that you say, I will surely do my utmost even if it is means going under the fiery oceans and going up to the most lofty mountains!"
Yi Ping bowed again with his hands, "Thank you, Senior!"
But he soon grown solemn again, "How long must we wait…is there any way for us to save Lele?"
With his current attainment and level of divinity, he knew that it was impossible to get near to Lele without being burnt by the stellar light.
He had actually wanted to run to Lele when he saw that she was in suspension in the middle of the stellar light but his body or rather his Nine Divine Dragons of the Dark Emperor Robe would not obey him.
Nuwa smiled coldly, "Save her? That is unnecessary."
Yi Ping was perplexed and he was shaking, "Lady Nuwa, we got to think of a way to save her…"
Nuwa flipped her sleeves as she sighed softly, "I am sorry. That is normally the way I speak. I don't mean we are not saving her but that is completely unnecessary. That is because she is safe and she is absorbing the Flower of Life now. I must say that her luck is extremely good. She actually has the Universal Harmonic Chain and that is actually the key to the Flower of Life. How I wish I am in her shoes!"
Yi Ping asked warily, "She is absorbing the Flower of Life? What does it mean?"
Not only Yi Ping and his group were startled by Nuwa but the rest of the heavenly kings too!
Everyone was looking at the Great Desolate Goddess, openly and secretly to learn what Nuwa had to say.
Nuwa stared at the brilliant stellar light as she said slowly, "By absorbing the Flower of Life, she will not only be able to move freely in the Stellar Sanctuary, she will also become the Alma of the Great God Pangu."
Yi Ping asked, "Alma of the Great God Pangu? What does this mean?"
Nuwa smiled wryly, "Why don't you ask yourself? You are the one that creates it."
Yi Ping was not amused as he coughed solemnly, "Tell me about it…"
Xian'Er smiled gently, "The Lady Nuwa is right. It is actually a blessing. The Alma is like a guardian to the Great God Pangu and they will share a special link with each other. This unique link can extend even across vast distances and across the realms…"
Yi Ping muttered, "A link across the realms? Even from Beyond?"
Xian'Er nodded as her eyes beamed, "Yes! Even if you are in Beyond, you will still be able to communicate with Lele!"
Yi Ping's spirit was also aroused and his countenance was lit up as he muttered, "Lele…"
All of a sudden the Jade Emperor said quietly, "I have always known that Lele is destined to be unique and it is happening right now. At this moment, her Celestial Force is absorbing the essence of the Flower of Life. Soon she will emerge as the new empress of the immortal realm!"
The other heavenly kings were startled and Yun Dingzhong spat angrily, "What new empress of the Immortal Realm? She hasn't even defeated us yet!"
The Jade Emperor gazed coldly in the direction of Yun Dingzhong, "Do you still remember why I am the emperor of the Immortal Realm and not the rest of you?"
The Western Paradise Heavenly King shifted uncomfortably as he spoke first, "That is because the Celestial Force is the only force that can absorb the Universal Harmony Force and neutralize the Chaotic Desolate Force. That is why the Jade Emperor is appointed to be the ruler of the Immortal Realm by the Great Goddess Fantian…"
He took a look at Xian'Er hesitatingly, unsure if he was right.
But Xian'Er nodded gently, "I have indeed appointed the Jade Emperor as the supreme ruler of the Immortal Realm. As for Lele, she is ordained to be my true successor or else the Universal Harmonic Chain would not have picked her."
The Jade Emperor and the other heavenly kings were startled and they looked at each other uneasily!
Yun Dingzhong shouted angrily, "Rubbish! Are you implying that you are the Great Goddess Fantian?"
The Formosa Heavenly King, the Avant-grade Heavenly King, the Western Paradise Heavenly King, the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess and the Ancient Heavenly Sage King were all moved to say at the same time, "She is indeed the Great Goddess Fantian!"
The Avant-grade Heavenly King shouted angrily, "How dare you shown such disrespect for the Great Goddess Fantian! Hurry and kneel before her!"
Yun Dingzhong hummed coldly, "Just a little while ago, you are on our side. Why? Are you afraid of them?"
The Avant-grade Heavenly King laughed with an explosive burst of his martial force, "I am afraid of who? I am not even afraid of you or the Jade Emperor!"
Old Man Xuantian laughed coldly, "Then why don't you come over to fight with us now instead of wasting your martial strength over there with your foolishness. Have you forgotten that you are not able to recover your martial strength here?"
The Avant-grade Heavenly King was about to say something when the Sacred Embodied Heavenly Goddess hummed coldly, "Calm down. He just wants to lure you to him. If he is unconvinced that she is the Great Goddess Fantian then why not invite him to come over here and see for himself first instead?"
The Avant-grade Heavenly King laughed, "Indeed, indeed. Why don't you come over and take a closer look first?"
Old Man Xuantian hummed coldly but he had made no attempt to make any move.
The Jade Emperor looked at Xian'Er closely, "You are really the Great Goddess Fantian?"
Xian'Er replied gently, "Yesterday I am the Celestial Fairy. Today I am the Great Goddess Fantian. Do you remember that I have once warned you not to be moved by mortal emotions or disaster will surely strike you?"
The Jade Emperor had turned ashen immediately and he was trembling all of a sudden!
Xian'Er continued, "That is a part of your inevitable tribulation. If you are able to overcome that, you will be able to attain to the Seventh Immortal Positioning. So have you overcome that tribulation yet? Do you regret it?"
The Jade Emperor was trembling, "I…have failed my tribulation…but I have never regretted it…"
Xian'Er shook her head, "You have actually overcome your tribulation. It is over. You should be at rest."
The Jade Emperor asked, "I have… overcome the tribulation?"
Xian'Er nodded, "Or else it won't be possible for you to attain the Seventh Immortal Positioning, am I right?"
The countenance of the Jade Emperor was flinching, "I have overcome…my tribulation…but I still have mortal feelings…Qie'Er, Lele…"
He stammered out, "Are you really the…Great Goddess Fantian?"
While he had communed with the Great Goddess Fantian on a number of occasions, he had never once seen her face directly. It was because the Great Goddess Fantian was an immortal in the Ninth Immortal Positioning and her countenance was shrouded with a brilliant light; only immortals that were of the Eighth Immortal Positioning were able to look into her countenance without being blinded by her.
Xian'Er nodded gently to give him a final affirmation, "You have already got the answer in your heart."
She paused for a while before smiling gently, "The bloodline that is yours, flows strongly in Lele. Only the successor of the Celestial Force is able to be the ruler of the Immortal Realm. This is my exact words to the immortals of the Immortal Realm, hence you are appointed as Jade Emperor. Lele is the chosen Alma of the Great God Pangu while…"
All of a sudden the Jade Emperor turned ashen and so did the Celestial Liege!
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The Celestial Liege was startled as he asked in his heart, "We are all related to Grandpa?"
Xian'Er had stolen a quick glance at Lingfeng the Heaveness, startling her as she continued. "…Lingfeng is my chosen Alma."
Lingfeng smiled shyly, "Tell me about it some other time…"
She quickly sought to distract attention from herself, "I wonder if the Great Desolate Goddess Nuwa has her own Alma?"
Nuwa laughed softly as she tapped Youxue lightly on her shoulder, "Youxue is my chosen Alma and the mistress of the Divine Nine Cauldron. I will teach you my Asmodian Divinity…
Youxue smiled weakly, "When did I become your Alma…"
Nuwa laughed softly, "You are not aware of it but I have been following you…"
Youxue was startled as she cursed softly…
All of a sudden, the Jade Emperor fell onto his kneels as he wept aloud. "You are indeed the Great Goddess Fantian. Forgive me for not recognizing your divinity earlier!"
The Jade Emperor was trembling as he muttered almost incoherently, "Yes, no one else knows that Lele is indeed my direct descendant…"
That was because when the Jade Emperor had transgressed the laws of the heavens, a divine calamity had descended upon the Three Known Realms. The Great Goddess Fantian had appeared to him and said to him, "You are in mortal danger. Flee now to the lower realm with your child. As punishment for your transgressions, you are to remain in the Mortal Realm for ten thousands immortal years. To ensure that you do not transgress my commands, I will seal your strength to that of a normal celestial practitioner…"
The Jade Emperor had said to her, "Qie'Er is no more. I will rather die to atone for my transgressions but my child is innocent. I ask that the Great Goddess Fantian will take care of him…"
The Great Goddess Fantian shook her head, "This is all predestined and is now inevitable. Since destiny has unfolded to this stage, we must abide by its changes. One of your descendants will be destined to be the next empress of the Immortal Realm and she will be the Alma to the Great God Pangu. So be strong. After the end of the ten thousands immortal years, you will be given another chance for attainment again. How that will unfold, even I do not know."
As the Great Goddess Fantian was about to take her leave, she seemed startled when she glanced over the toddler. "This child…is he…?"
She heaved a heavy sigh, "While I am reaching the end of my life but he has returned…"
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