226 Floor 93rd
Beside the Feather Sword Shard that had dropped into Yi Ping's hands, there were also a red fiery pill, two Heavenly Relics, a Sanctorum Relic and a luminous pearl.
The Sanctorum Relic was the most precious of all the heavenly metals and its appearance could even spark a war in the immortal war but right now, everyone's attention was upon the Feather Sword Shard!
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Even the Great Khan Heavenly King murmured, "He risks his life for this? Why is everyone looking at this Feather Sword Shard with such an interest?"
He had secretly thought, "Is it even rarer than even the Sanctorum Relic?"
Yi Ping was fingering the Feather Sword Shard as he looked quietly at it…
All the maidens were now looking at him…
But Yi Ping pointed to the shimmering blue portal that had just appeared, "We should leave this hostile place first…"
With that he made a move to the portal.
Xian'Er said, "Let's go."
Nuwa looked at everyone with a cold gaze, "What are you all waiting for? Do you want to wait for the celestial formation to reactivate? I repeat. I am not going to wait for anyone of you."
With that, she hurried behind Yi Ping.
The Jade Emperor said aloud, "What are we all waiting for? Let's go!"
With that, everyone hurried into the shimmering blue portal!
When they had emerged from the shimmering blue portal, they found themselves in a huge hallway and there was a stele monument.
Alice immediately pointed out, "We are now on the 93rd floor. What an achievement!"
Aiel gasped weakly, "It is so good to breathe again!"
Han Lin smiled weakly, "I should be the one saying that. Mistress, you are an Immortal. Why are you so weak? Or are you trying to get Yi Ping attention?"
Aiel began to fluster, "Says who?!"
Yi Ping breathe in heavily, "Let's us recuperate first."
Everyone nodded as they quickly began to seat themselves into meditation positions.
After a while, they had recovered from their strength and once again, they were all looking at Yi Ping again!
Xian'Er knew that Yi Ping had to give everyone an accounting inevitably and that he had already taken the time to ponder, so she smiled gently to Yi Ping. "Ping'Er, who will you give the third Feather Sword Shard to?"
Everyone was actually waiting for this moment and they were all stirring from their positions!
The Universal Old Man murmured, "I wonder who will be the lucky maiden…"
Lingfeng raised her eyes to stare coldly at him, "It is wiser for you to shut up at this very moment or your little life will be extremely miserable from this point onward."
The Universal Old Man smiled weakly for he had suddenly noticed that all many of the maidens, including Aiel were all looking at him with wrathful stares!
Mei'Er was trembling lightly as she lowered her gaze, "It is not funny. I…we…"
Nuwa yawned softly, "So who will this lucky maiden be?"
She looked a little conceited but she had every right to be; she had already obtained one of the three Feather Sword Shards and was now the true consort to the Great God Pangu!
While Alice, Lingfeng and Lele did not obtain the Feather Sword Shard but as they were all linked with Yi Ping, it did not really bother them but they were as eager to know who would be the sixth maiden that would be bonded to Yi Ping!
Lele silently prayed, "I wish it will be Sister Lie Qing then it would be perfect!"
The Lord Supreme murmured, "This won't be an easy choice at all."
The Immortal Saint of Swords nodded, "I am afraid that the disappointment will be much greater than anything else."
Skylord Jun folded his arms, "What is love if it pains to be, is it worth it?"
Yi Ping was now looking at all these maidens that had braved untold dangers and trials with him. He sighed softly as he muttered, "This day has finally come…"
Xian'Er comforted him with a whisper, "Since it is the inevitable, does it matter if you have to decide now or later?"
Yunzi smiled weakly, "That is right. No matter what, we are all prepared to accept your decisions."
Her voice was weak and even her tone was melancholy. It was obvious to everyone that Yunzi was only putting on a brave front. But that was the same for all the maidens involved!
Lie Qing heaved a soft sigh, "I…I am prepared…"
Xingyue lowered her eyes, "Ping'Er, it doesn't need to be fair. Just follow your heart. I will not blame you."
The Ascension Goddess Ye Yin said melancholy, "Go on and make your decision…"
Yi Ping was now looking at Xiao Youxue. Among the maidens here, she was the first maiden that he had met on the Heavens Mountains and she had left a lasting impression on him with her extraordinary martial feat. Not only that, she had also saved his life on numerous occasions. It seemed that they already had an affinity in their previous life. In her previous life, she was the Endor Vixen Fairy and they had belonged to the same celestial sect, the Celestial Great Quiescent Sect.
Youxue lowered her mesmerizing eyes, "Hmph! Yi Ping, don't worry…"
Yi Ping was now looking at Yu'Er and Mei'Er. He remembered how he had first met them and how he had to flee the Eternal Ice Palace in shame when he thought that he had violated them when he was drunk. It was only later that he had realized that it was a ruse to retain him in the Eternal Ice Palace. The two twin sisters had always aided him unconditionally and had protected the group faithfully.
In their previous life, they were the Axis and the Eclipse Heaven Goddesses. They were from the Ascension Sect and were the Supreme Celestials. Because of their previous ten thousand years of attainment and with the aid of their newly acquired divine swords, they were able to remember their past life memories.
Yu'Er said quietly, "Master Yi Ping, we are two sisters and there is only one Feather Sword Shard. I know that you won't choose any of us. But I don't mind at all."
Mei'Er nodded as she looked at Yi Ping with beaming eyes, "It is the same as before when we have known the White Sage. But no matter what, we are your wives. Just remember your vows for us."
Yi Ping murmured, "Yu'Er, Mei'Er…"
He sighed softly as he looked at Yunzi next.
He had remembered that at first he did not have a good impression of her. It was because he had misunderstood her as the killer of his wife, Xian'Er. Yunzi had helped him and the group on too many occasions. She was so indispensable that they would have lost many of their battles without her unwavering will and tactical support.
For Xingyue sake and to break the animosity of the Infinity Sword Celestial Clan, Yunzi agreed to leave Yi Ping's group to join the Infinity Sword Celestial Clan.
In her previous life, she was the Celestial Ocean Heavenly Maiden and also his protégé mistress in the Celestial Great Quiescent Sect.
Yi Ping thought, "Yunzi, I will never forget what you have done for me…"
Next he found himself looking at Lie Qing but he quickly averted his glance as he could not bear to look into her eyes directly. Even then, he could still feel the heartbreaking look that Lie Qing had cast upon him…
It was not because he could not resist the charms of the Heavenly Temptress but Lie Qing had on many occasions expressed her heartrending sentiments to him. How could he be so blind as not to know her heart for him? He was pretending not to know and had buried her sentiments for him deep in the recess of his heart…
He still remembered the time that Lie Qing had shown up just in the nick of time when he had fought with the Celestial Liege. She was just like beautiful angel that had flown down to bring hope to him. And how pained he was when he had thought that he had almost lost her forever…
He muttered only to himself, "Qing'Er, till the oceans dry up and the rocks crumble to dust, till time cease to exist…"
As he muttered her haunting words, he began to tremble lightly and even more when he noticed that Lie Qing had folded her trembling fingers…
Next he looked at Shen Xingyue and he was trembling harder. It was as though his heart had been torn asunder!
Xingyue had turned around and was unwilling to look at him directly!
Yi Ping stared blankly at her. Their entangling romances had spanned a thousand years. In his previous life, she was his fiancée. His memories of her were etched deeply in him because the 'White Sage' had never forgiven himself for abandoning her and he had been searching for her ever since he had realized who she was…
Even when he had reincarnated, he had immediately recognized her at their first meeting and that revelation shook him to his very core!
Xingyue muttered melancholy, "I am already content to be your wife in this lifetime. What more do I desire? As long as you are safe and happy, I am equally happy. There is nothing more blissful than this, don't you think so? It is my one and only wish."
Yi Ping murmured, "Xingyue…"
He turned away to look at Ye Yin the Ascension Goddess who was looking at him with woeful eyes…
Ye Yin the Ascension Goddess was the second maiden that he had met in the Celestial Realm, the first being the Stellar Heaven Fairy Shishi. At first, he had viewed her as a despicable opponent who had no grudge with killing anyone.
He had never expected her to be such an affectionate maiden in heart and she had almost thrown her life away when she had engaged the Immortal Sword Aegis Sage for their group. Even today, he could remember the outpour of the terrifying sword energies that shot from the floor and from above that almost took away her life. That was the Inverting Eternal Occurrence, the most powerful sword technique of the Infinity Sword Celestial Clan.
He clenched his fists tightly as he murmured, "Ye Yin…"
With a heavy heart, he turned to look at Isa, Aiel, Han Lin, Asura and Gusu Xiang…
Then he had thought of Yang Min and Shishi. These are the maidens that he had met in the Celestial Realm…
Aiel bit her lips, "I know that you won't choose me but I still have a little hope…"
Han Lin sighed softly, "Mistress, it is better for you not to harbor any hope at all."
She was holding back her tears because she knew that there was not a chance that Yi Ping would pick her. She began to look despondent and had lowered her head in dejection!
The Goddess Isa lowered her eyes as she trembled lightly, "I am content as it is now."
Both the Goddess Asura and the Goddess of Mercy lowered their heads, not daring to say anything.
Yi Ping sighed softly. He took a deep breath as he muttered silently, "Xian'Er, what should I do?"
Even though he was asking only Xian'Er but because he was whispering through the dual celestial channel, Alice, Nuwa, Lele and Lingfeng were able to hear him as well.
Xian'Er replied silently, "Ping'Er, surely you already known the answer in your heart. Do you have to ask me?"
Lele whispered, "You have to choose Sister Lie Qing! She is so pitiful!"
Lingfeng said, "Lele, let Yi Ping makes his own decision. It is pointless for you to interfere like this."
Nuwa whispered, "Well, I choose Youxue if I were you. She is the perfect choice."
Alice said matter of fact, "Does it matter who Yi Ping choose? If it is his destiny to choose then it is his will and his holistic destiny. Whoever he chooses, we should give him his blessing."
Yi Ping asked, "Xian'Er, I really want to hear what you think."
Xian'Er was silent for a while before she asked, "Who are they? Who are the ones that you can't decide?"
Yi Ping whispered with a soft sigh, "Qing'Er, Xingyue, Yunzi, Youxue and Ye Yin…"
But he quickly said, "Between Qing'Er and Xingyue, I have a hard time deciding. Xian'Er, can you give me your thoughts? If you were me, who will you choose?"
Xian'Er was silent for a while before she said quietly, "I will surely choose Lie Qing or else I won't instruct the Western Paradise Heavenly King to impart to you the Invincible Divine Force. Isn't that a good hint of my inclination? But it is for you to decide. You are the master of your destiny."
Yi Ping stole a glance at Xian'Er before he turned to look at Lie Qing and Xingyue. Finally he lifted up the Feather Sword Shard and said firmly, "Qing'Er, this is for you."
At this announcement, Lele quickly gave Lie Qing a warm embrace!
Lie Qing was startled as she lifted her head to stare at Yi Ping. She fluttered her eyelids in disbelief, "It is for me, really?"
Xingyue turned around as she managed a weak smile, "Why, if you do not want to take it then I am taking it!"
Lie Qing trembled lightly as she looked at the rest of the maidens, "Who says I am not taking it? I didn't win this fair and square. Yi Ping must be so dense to believe an actress like me…"
She had chosen to blacken her name but none of the maidens were smiling or condemning her. It was because they all knew how important she was in Yi Ping's heart or else he would not have chosen her to inherit the third Feather Sword Shard.
Shen Xingyue looked at Yi Ping as she thought melancholy, "I remember the first time that I have met the White Sage, he had told me that his Divine Calamity was a vision of seven maidens. I guess that Lie Qing is the sixth. I hope that I am your seventh…"
Yunzi smiled as she took Lie Qing by her hand, "So our Heavenly Temptress has finally found her happiness!"
Lie Qing smiled, "I hope so. If he doesn't perform to my expectations, I will surely divorce him!"
Xian'Er said, "Qing'Er, clench your hands around the sharp edge of the Feather Sword Shard and let your blood drip down its tips."
Lie Qing was startled, "Must I?"
Xian'Er smiled gently, "This is the only way to Dual Celestial with Yi Ping."
Lie Qing gasped softly as she quickly proceeded to do exactly as Xian'Er had instructed and no longer had her blood dripped down the tip of the Feather Sword Shard, the Feather Sword Shard began to dissipate and she was greeted in her ears by Xian'Er, "We are whispering to you through the Dual Celestial Whispering. All you need to do is to whisper with your internal energy and those who are dual celestial with Yi Ping will be able to hear you as well."
Lele added excitedly, "It is the same as the secret whispering skill but it can't be overheard by the others, not even by those that have a higher divinity than us."
Alice said, "We don't have to explain the technicalities to her. She will surely be able to understand."
Lingfeng alluring voice could be heard, "Sister Qing'Er, welcome!"
Nuwa could be heard yawning, "Welcome, welcome!"
It took Lie Qing a while to muster her voice, "Hello…"
Yi Ping whispered, "Qing'Er, we are all linked now. Let me say something to the rest first and I will come back to you."
He heaved a soft sigh before he said aloud to everyone, "This is a most difficult decision for me to make. Even though I have given the Feather Sword Shard to Qing'Er, this doesn't mean that my feelings for everyone else are placed at second place. I hope that everyone would be able to understand it."
Shen Xingyue smiled, "We understand perfectly."
Lie Qing was startled to find a surge of emotions that she had never experienced before to overwhelm her when Yi Ping had suddenly spoken.
When Xian'Er saw the startled expressions on Lie Qing, she whispered to her. "What Yi Ping or anyone else experience, you will also be able to experience now. It has both bad and good. That is also the reason why Yi Ping has chosen you at long last. The rest of the maidens are too emotional and it will only affect their divine advancement."
Lie Qing sighed softly as she stole a glance at Ye Yin, Xingyue, Yu'Er and Mei'Er; they may appeared to be aloof but the two of them were actually the most sentimental in their group. She thought, "They have no idea how alike they are. In their progression as Supreme Celestials, have they been too lonely?"
The Supreme Celestials of the Ascension Sect trained in isolation with only their divine swords and they had to endure the extreme loneliness that most Celestials could not endure. Not only that, they were also faced with a bleak uncertain future; their ascension to the Celestial Realm depended on their unison with their divine swords. While it was easy to bond with their divine swords but achieving true unison was difficult especially in the face of the divine calamities.
Yi Ping looked up to the starry dim heavens as he muttered, "It is hard to believe that the night skies here will be this beautiful and even harder to believe that we are still in the Stellar Sanctuary…"
All of a sudden he stood rigid as he raised his voice to sunder the valley, "But I swear this, as long as I have a single breath in me, I will not forsake our pledges and we will be together till the earth ends!"
He softened his voice as he looked at the maidens, "I am sorry. I am not good with words…"
Yu'Er was beaming with tears as she sniffed, "No, you are good. This is good enough. I am content now. We will always be together…"
Mei'Er was also in tears as she muttered, "We will be together till the earth ends…"
Ye Yin, Xingyue, Youxue and Yunzi were all nodding and their eyes could not hide their joyous expressions!
Aiel murmured softly, "Will you take me as your consort?"
Yi Ping smiled, "Didn't you say that there are eighteen predestined maidens that the Great God Pangu would have to be his soulmates and future consorts? If that is the case, aren't you already one?"
Aiel was startled by the reply as she blinked her eyes rapidly, "I am one of the eighteen predestined maidens? Really…"
She quickly got over her shock and pulled Han Lin's sleeves, "Han Lin! Did you hear that? I am…one of the eighteen maidens that are being prophesied to be with the Great God Pangu!"
Han Lin yelled softly, "Mistress, not so hard. You are pulling my robe off! That is enough already. I didn't want to pour cold water over you but didn't the prophecy say that all the eighteen maidens will be destined by Heavens to aid him but their divine tribulations will equally be punishing."
She paused briefly as she put on a weak smile, "But I don't see you giving any helpful aid to Yi Ping…"
Aiel quickly answered softly, almost to a purr. "Well, I can cook and I can help him to wash his clothes…"
Han Lin sighed softly, "I don't see your divine tribulations as punishing…"
Aiel raised her voice, "Who says my divine tribulations are not punishing? I was stripped of my immortal divinity and was banished to the the lower realms for centuries!…"
All of a sudden she had noticed that Yi Ping and everyone were looking at her. Realizing that that she had lost her elegant demeanor and that the Goddess Celestial Alice was giving her a stern look, she quickly said. "Anyway that is not the point. The point is that Yi Ping has already chosen me. Even if he is not the Great God Pangu, it still doesn't matter. He can have eighteen, twenty-four or anyone he likes but I am still the chosen!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly, "Aiel, Han Lin is only teasing you. You have already helped us a lot. All of these are in my heart."
When Aiel heard that, she was literally fluttering as she murmured shyly. "Oh really…"
Han Lin laughed softly as she winked at Yi Ping, "My mistress is so easy to be handled."
Yi Ping nodded at Han Lin but he quickly asked, "Han Lin, what about you then?"
Han Lin was startled as she stammered, "What do you mean?"
Mei'Er laughed as she cuddled Han Lin, "You are playing dumb, ain't you? He is asking you if you want to be his consort!"
Han Lin could not believe what she was hearing as she stammered, "Really?"
Yi Ping gave her a broad smile, "If Han Lin does not want to, I will not impose upon you."
Han Lin stammered as she raised her fingers to count, "I can be one of the eighteen? One, two, three…Aiel, Yu'Er, Mei'Er, that is three…"
Aiel laughed softly, "Han Lin, do you need to count at a time like this?"
Even Yi Ping was amused as he scratched the side of his nose, "Han Lin?"
Han Lin was looking left and right at her fingers, "Eleven, Twelve…grrr, where am I? Wait, wait! Wait please…"
She was exasperated as she counted panicky but the faster she count, she lost the count. "Where am I? Did I count the Goddess Isa and the Goddess of Mercy already?"
The Goddess Isa lifted her eyes as she stared at Han Lin, "She is completely hopeless."
The Goddess of Mercy shook her head, "I hate to agree with you but you are right on this."
The Goddess Asura laughed gently, "I think that she is just being shy."
Just as Yi Ping turned to them and was about to say something, Han Lin called out panicky to him. "I…I don't mind! But you must treat me good then!"
Aiel said exasperatedly, "You sly demoness!"
But Han Lin had already turned away shyly!
Yi Ping looked gently at the Goddess Isa, the Goddess Asura and the Goddess of Mercy Xiang, "Isa, Xiang'Er, Asura…shall we undertake this journey together?"
Asura smiled shyly as she touched her belly gently without elaborating, "I am already yours. Moreover…"
The Goddess of Mercy smiled shyly, "I hope that you have not forgotten that I am one of the three that have first bowed to you as the Great God Pangu. Even if you want to cast me off, it will be difficult for I will follow you to the ends of the heavens."
The Goddess Isa looked down as her eyes softened, "Same here. But whether you are the Dark Chaos Lord or the Great God Pangu, it doesn't matter to me. You are Yi Ping. You are what it matters. I can't believe that we are now on the 93rd floor now and so much had happened during these few months. I really wish that we are not in the Stellar Sanctuary now and have the time for casual chat. I wonder what will happen once we have reached the 100th floor? Will you still be in the Three Known Realms or will you go to Beyond?"
Yi Ping muttered, "Isa…"
But he quickly smiled to her as he said, "Isa, this is the Sanctorum Relic. I know that you have always coveted this for your Divine Constellation Sword."
Isa forced a smile, "Thank you…"
Yi Ping walked to the Immortal Saint of Swords and the Jade Emperor, "These two Heavenly Relics are of the finest quality and have a high rate of being refined into divine swords."
The Immortal Saint of Swords laughed, "Good. I will cultivate upon it and refine it into the finest divine sword of the Celestial Realm!"
The Jade Emperor roared into laughter as he stroked his long silver beard, "You little rascal. You have stolen so many of my Heavenly Relics and you have only given me one back."
Yi Ping smiled as he replied wryly, "Those Heavenly Relics that I have stolen cannot be equaled to this Heavenly Relic that I am giving back to you."
The Jade Emperor laughed jovially, "True, true! Those are broken Heavenly Relics that can't be forged into divine swords so naturally it can't compared to this Heavenly Relic!"
Yi Ping said, "As for this red fiery pill and this luminous pearl…"
The Great Khan Heavenly King interrupted coldly, "Are you going to give it to only your friends? Do you think that this distribution is fair?"
Nuwa immediately shot the Great Khan Heavenly King an angry stare and was about to storm at him when Xian'Er restrained her.
She immediately said, "Weird, I don't remember you have done anything to deserve this loot. If you wanna to have your share, why don't you beg me first?"
The Western Paradise Heavenly King was also looking at the Great Khan Heavenly King, "You have better watched your mouth. Trust me, you don't want to mess with that lady."
The Great Khan Heavenly King immediately shut up but it was obvious he was resentful.
Yi Ping paid no heed to him as he said calmly, "I have no idea what these two items are, honestly."
Alice smiled, "I have never seen anything like this in the Immortal Realm too."
The Jade Emperor was also looking curiously at the two items, "I have no idea either but the spiritual animus that are on these two items are really extraordinary."
Nuwa had also taken an interest as she said, "This fiery pill is of the pureness fire essence. It can only be found in the most fiery places. However to find it and to be able to reach it is another matter. We call this the Fire Sanctorum Pill. As for this luminous pearl, it can only be found in the deepest depth of the oceans and we call it the Immortal Quintessence Pearl. I am so surprised that we can actually find them here."
Yi Ping asked curiously, "You know their uses?"
Nuwa smiled, "Maybe the Great Goddess Fantian has forgotten about it. These two items are two of the rarest items that are known to the Desolate Immortals before the Ancient Realm split into three and can only be found in the most extreme places of the plane."
Youxue smiled, "Then these two items must be extremely precious treasures that are even rarer than the Sanctorum Relic!"
Nuwa smiled, "Even ten Sanctorum Relics cannot be compared to one of them!"
Just as Yi Ping was about to probe further, there was a thunderous clap above them as the entire skies turned to purple!
Almost immediately, powerful howling winds had appeared and the entire heavens exploded into violent thunderclaps as multiple purple lightning shook the heavens and the earth!
Ye Yin lifted her white gold robe as she cried out panicky, "This storm just comes suddenly. I didn't even sense its approach!"
The Jade Emperor had turned ashen as he said, "It is not an ordinary storm. It is the Heaven Sundering Divine Calamity!"
The Western Paradise Heavenly King was in disbelief as well, "It can't be happening because the Stellar Sanctuary is a sanctuary from the Divine Calamities!"
Alice pointed to the mountains that were cracking and the surrounding terrains that were in upheavals, "It is already happening. We must flee from it or we won't be able to survive it!"
Even though the howling winds were eerie and shrieking in everyone's ears but they could hear her warning for Alice's internal strength was astonishing.
The Universal Old Man tried to say something but his voice was completely muted by the howling voice!
Xian'Er said aloud, "No good. The winds and thunders completely nullified everything. We can't even use our Dual Celestial Whispering Skill…"
Yi Ping was shouting to everyone as he pointed to a cave in the mountains, "Everyone, rush into that cave over there!"
Immediately, almost everyone started to run for the cave.
Xian'Er turned to look at Yi Ping, "Ping'Er, you are not moving? Are you thinking of…"
Yi Ping inhaled deeply as he clasped the hint of his divine swords, "You should know. I can't hide from it. This Heaven Sundering Divine Calamity is here for me…"
He tapped his forehead gently and three white shards were now visible, replacing his previous Heaven Eyes' sigil.
Xian'Er and Nuwa kept quiet for they already knew the cause…
Alice was trembling, "This is the Heaven Sundering Divine Calamity of the Ninth Heaven Positioning. When the three Feather Sword Shards are whole again, so this is what will happen…"
The Jade Emperor and the rest of the Heavenly Kings were staring at Yi Ping and what were to come in disbelief. If Yi Ping could succeed in overcoming this Heaven Sundering Divine Calamity then he would be able to attain the Ninth Immortal Positioning and would be the most powerful immortal in the entire Three Known Realms!