There were only the six of them remaining; the World Ruler Fu Xi had already dismissed the Blackwinds Legion.
The grandeur of the Firmament Citadel was not lesser if not greater than the Verdant Palace of the Great Lord Xuan Yuan.
As many as eight white monument bridges hung in suspension to the imposing and towering citadel. It was like a city within the Ancient Fortress!
Unlike the Verdant Palace, there was an aura of amicable air that he was familiar with.
From afar, Yi Ping's keen eyes could see that there were many mortals and lesser practitioners among the Desolate Immortals. He was genuinely surprised because some of the Desolate Immortals were even engaging in casual talk with the mortals and there were no hint of any superior airs!
The World Ruler Fu Xi said nonchalantly, "Welcome to the Firmament Citadel. Before you go, have a look at my domain."
He nodded and rubbed his chest. At this moment, he was not wearing the Omnipotent Creation Armor anymore. It was because the armor was part of him and he had remerged it within his golden body, to summon as he saw fit the next time.
He was glad that he was able to control the Omnipotent Creation Armor with his strength and will. It was because for a moment, he was thinking hard on how to remove it. Fortunately, he was able to succeed the first time by absorbing it into his body with his Universal Creation Force.
A sense of loss greeted him soon after. It was as though he had lost his heighten sense of invulnerability and confidence. But he soon composed himself as he meditated himself into a state of tranquil as he thought, "Since time memorial, power often corrupts men. My faith comes from my own combat ability and not from my armor or my swords. I should be the rider of my artefacts and not the other way round."
It was only because of Yi Ping insatiable will to better himself continuously that caused him to be above all the rest. He could be beaten but he learnt quickly enough and his fighting spirit never faltered in the face of fierce adversaries. It was this indominatable spirit of his that gained him control of the sanctorum strength of the Celestial Alice, the Fantian Sovereign and the Omnipotent Creation Armor!
Yi Ping asked curiously, "There are mortals in your domain?"
The World Ruler Fu Xi laughed aloud, "You are surprised?"
Yi Ping nodded, "I have thought that the Desolate Immortals view the mortals as inferiors."
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien laughed as she shrugged her Lord Brother, "Naturally they are our inferiors. However, our Lord Brother is also known as the Human Ruler. He has a special fondness for them, guiding them on the path of ascension."
The World Ruler Fu Xi grumbled softly, "That is none of your business. This is my domain and I do whatever I want."
Yi Ping was startled as he asked, "Isn't this the same as the Great God Pangu?"
The World Ruler Fu Xi hummed coldly, "You are saying that I am like Pangu? Wrong! I don't intend to partition the Immortal Realm for the mortals. If the mortals are capable and willing to submit to the superiors then they have the right to live as we do. This is our tradition."
The Alluring Goddess Theresa nodded and added, "You know why I have allied with Fu Xi from the start and not the other great lords? It is because we share the same ideals. One day, mortal practitioners and immortal practitioners can walk together to overcome the Divine Calamity! One day, mortal practitioners and immortal practitioners can find a way to reach the Great Beyond and attain enlightenment!"
For the very first time Yi Ping had an appreciation of the Alluring Goddess Theresa and the World Ruler Fu Xi as he muttered, "To the Great Beyond…"
He remembered the spiraling void and the nine dimensional rifts that he had seen when he had first dematerialized. He thought, "That is the forbidden Great Beyond that only the Tenth Immortal Positioning can reach? I was traveling there but somehow I have faltered. Maybe I am not strong enough. One day, I would like to go there but not now."
It was because he could not bear to leave his companions behind. Secretly, he knew that was the reason why his spirit could not soar there. But he was not regretfully. He mused to himself, "I have more regrets here and many more worthy opponents to fight in the material plane. Alas! I would even like to fight the Alluring Goddess Theresa again, this time without the aid of the Omnipotent Creation Armor. I wonder how strong the World Ruler Fu Xi and the Great Lord Xuan Yuan really are!"
He knew that they had all reserved their most secret arts and techniques to use at an opportune time. It was because they were not desperate yet. With this thought, he was immediately spirited at the prospect of fighting them one day and he was not bothered with the loss of traverse to the Great Beyond!
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled as she lifted her fingers to form an intricate gesture, "It is time. We are ready now to transfer our negative nuclear life energies to you. May you be blessed by the Eternal Cosmos and your travels will be smooth!"
Yi Ping quickly replied, "Thank you!"
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero had also formed intricate gestures on their own.
The light breeze was blowing heavier now and the air was already charged by their negative nuclear life energies that they had gathered on their fingertips!
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien bit her lips as she whispered to his ears, "I don't care if the others hear me. Don't forget us, especially me when you have returned to your own world. That day when I first saw you in the streets of the Ancient Fortress, I have already known that you are someone special especially when you have intercepted my sister and I with your combat finesse. At that time, I was even a little worry about hurting you but I guess that my worries are unfound!"
Yi Ping could only manage a weak smile before the Heaven Goddess Zero whispered, "You know at that time, I was a little offended and irritated by you when you have evaded my Seven Stars Mirage. But from that point onward, I cannot get you out of my mind. Who you are, what are you and where are you from?"
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien quickly said, "That is why we have asked our Lord Brother for aid. Even if it meant that we have to upset the delicate balance between the Firmament Citadel and the Verdant Palace, we have decided to make the trip to the Verdant Palace for you."
Yi Ping asked, "You didn't come for my Fantian Sovereign?"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa interrupted with a wry smile, "They didn't. I did. The Fantian Sovereign is a heritage artefact of the Oracle Clan. But it seems that the Fantian Sovereign has already found itself a new master so it is pointless for me to pursue the Fantian Sovereign any longer. Moreover…"
She looked at the Goddess Lessica with a soft sigh, "You didn't tell me everything, am I right?"
The Goddess Lessica quickly bowed with fright and said humbly, "Mistress, I didn't think that I can hide from you. He is indeed not the Great God Pangu…"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa sniffed softly as she looked up to the heavens before saying melancholy, "You are wrong. He is the Great God Pangu!…"
Immediately the World Ruler Fu Xi, the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero turned ashen as they stared blankly at Yi Ping for an answer!
The Heaven Goddess Zero exclaimed with faltering voice, "You! You are really the Great God Pangu? Tell me it isn't true! You are the one that have banished us to this desolate realm!"
Yi Ping was solemn as he replied coolly, "Yes, I am indeed the Great God Pangu but at the same time I am not really Pangu. I am just his reincarnated."
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien asked the Alluring Goddess Theresa, "How do you know?"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled wryly, "Unlike the other divine swords, the sanctorum powers of the Fantian Sovereign can only be used by Pangu. Since you bear no resemblance to Pangu then you must be his reincarnated. Moreover…"
She looked piercingly at Yi Ping before saying, "Moreover, I can sniff the scent of Fantian on you. My sister…"
The Goddess Lessica lowered her glances as she said, "Mistress, you have already known…"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled, "I have already known from the first time that I have met him."
Yi Ping asked perplexed, "Then why are you helping me?"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled and said, "I don't care for Pangu or Fantian. You are the Universal Ruler. The only reason why I have opposed Fantian is because I don't think that Pangu is the Universal Ruler and that Fantian has given him the secrets of the Oracle Clan, secrets that are meant for the Universal Ruler."
The World Ruler Fu Xi laughed heartily, "She has hinted that I may be the Universal Ruler in the past!"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled wryly, "Wrong. I have thought that between the Great Rift Lord Xuan Yuan and you, the two of you are the possible candidates to be the Universal Ruler. But I am wrong."
Yi Ping knew that they had feud with the Great God Pangu. So he said solemnly, "Since you have already known that I am the reincarnation of the Great God Pangu then why are you still helping me?…"
Suddenly he paused abruptly as he thought, "If she has already known, is she waiting for this moment to reveal everything so that the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero would refuse to aid me? So that I may fail in the very end?"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa began to laugh jovially, "So are you thinking what I am thinking?"
With that, Yi Ping began to shiver lightly!
Just as he was about to say something, he noticed that the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero were smiling at him!
That was not the reaction that he was expecting!
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien blown a kiss on his ear as she said softly, "I am thankful to Theresa for telling us the truth. You are one of us…"
Yi Ping was perplexed as he repeated after her, "One of us?…"
The Heaven Goddess Zero smiled brightly, "If you are Pangu reincarnated then you are a Desolate Immortal and one of our own people!"
Yi Ping asked, "You don't blame me?"
The Heaven Goddess Zero smiled coyly, "Of course not! It seems that you have a lot more to learn about us. After all, you are going to be our Universal Ruler pretty soon!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he thought, "It seems that I have a lot more to learn than this. So this is their way. They only respect the strong and their ideals. For a moment I thought that they are going to slaughter me because of who I am in the past. I didn't think that they can readily accept who I am so easily. If only the intrigues of the martial fraternity can be settled as simple as this then things would not be as complex and the feuds would not be so lasting."
Finally the Heaven Goddess Zero softened her voice to say, "Don't forget us. We will meet sooner or later."
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien nodded and said, "The Ancient Fortress will make the crossing soon. A hundred year is just a short wait."
Yi Ping rubbed his nose awkwardly to say, "Thank you! Surely we will meet again. When we do, I hope that we will be on the same side again."
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien nodded, "Naturally we will be. After all, we have sworn our allegiances to you."
He paused briefly to say firmly, "I will never allow the Desolate Immortals to disturb the peace of the Immortal Realm but if they come in peace then they are welcome."
The Heaven Goddess Zero smiled mischievously, "Are you thinking of banishing the Ancient Fortress to the Desolate Realm again? That will require a blood price and it may not work the next time round. The Desolate Immortals are much stronger than before now, you know. Your sacrifice may be in vain."
Yi Ping smiled, "Then I will fight with all the great lords and great goddess if I cannot persuade them otherwise!"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled, "Then I will aid you if that is your aim. I will follow you and abide by your wishes!"
Yi Ping nodded before he asked hesitatingly, "Will you get along with Fantian?"
The smiles on the Alluring Goddess Theresa were paused as she lowered her glances melancholy, "If that is the will of the Universal Ruler then so shall it be."
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Yi Ping sighed. It was because he did not like to force anyone to his will. But today he forced himself to say, "That is indeed my will."
The Alluring Goddess Theresa lifted her eyes to look at him as she said coldly, "Your will is my will. I will do it. But…"
She hesitated for a while as her eyes shifted with unease.
Yi Ping asked with a soft sigh, "But what? Feel free to say…"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa whispered, "Promise me that you will be back."
Yi Ping was surprised by this request.
The Heaven Goddess Zero, the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Goddess Lessica were all nodding at the same time too as they looked earnestly at Yi Ping.
He sighed softly as he looked at everyone. He knew that the Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Heaven Goddess Zero and the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien were sacrificing their hard earned attainment for him so that he could return to the Stellar Sanctuary.
He knew that he had no way to repay any of them.
Although he may looked cold and forbidding due to his immortal cultivation, his heart however was burning with his hot tears!
If he was only a martial fighter of the martial fraternity, his hot tears would have already covered his face now!
At this moment, his emotions were stirring and his heighten senses got a jolted awakening!
It was because he had just overcome his ninety-nine major calamity of his life to walk this journey to become the one and only Universal Ruler!
In order to accomplish this feat, he had to undergone countless small trials and ninety-nine major calamities. He had been through countless life and death battles. If he had taken the wrong misstep, he would be doomed.
It was all due to the people, his friends and his companions that he had met throughout his travels. Even though some have little impact but together they had contributed to a solidary unity that had sent him through!
An invincible fighter can never be the Universal Ruler nor can he inherit the mantle of the Great God Pangu. The more invincible a fighter was, the harder and the harsher the ninety-nine calamities would be!
He mustered his heartfelt voice to say, "I'll promise!"
He paused for a while and said firmly, "I will never forget any of you."
The Heaven Goddess Zero smiled, "Other than the Great Goddess Fantian, only we are fit to be your consorts. You will not find better companions than any of us!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he rubbed his nose to say wryly, "Alas! I have many companions from where I have come from. It is not a matter who are better…"
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien laughed softly, "This we do not mind. If you do not have other companions then we will really be surprised! What my sister meant to say that we are all Great Goddesses and are a better fitting for you."
The Heaven Goddess Zero was giggling jovially as she winked at Yi Ping, "That is right! You have four Great Goddesses as your company, isn't this such a good thing? You ought to appoint us as your four Great Goddesses of your new clan!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly as he thought, "Four Great Goddesses? Zero, Theresa, Xia Hsien and Xian'Er?"
He rubbed his nose to say, "Actually there is five then."
The Heaven Goddess Zero groaned unhappily, "There is another? Who is she? Do we know her?"
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien hummed coldly, "Not likely. She must be a nobody. Maybe someone that has reached the Eighth Immortal Positioning from seventh."
Yi Ping managed a weak smile to say, "She is the Desolate Goddess Nuwa. Maybe you may not know her…"
All of a sudden the Heaven Goddess Zero and the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien had both turned ashen as they exclaimed in unison, "It is her?!"
Even the Alluring Goddess Theresa was startled as she muttered, "It is her?"
Yi Ping asked, "You know her?"
The Heaven Goddess Zero smiled weakly, "She is a longtime foe of ours. We have suffered in her hands too many times. She seems to have an innate fighting ability as Fantian and Theresa. Since we have already reached the Ninth Immortal Positioning now, she must have already attained the Ninth Immortal Positioning as well."
Yi Ping could only smile weakly as he thought, "I think I have better not let them know that Nuwa is only at the Eighth Immortal Positioning. She had been imprisoned by Pangu in the Stellar Sanctuary and sealed within the Nine Divine Cauldron for ten thousand years. Her cultivation has struck in the Eighth Immortal Positioning…"
The Dark Goddess Theresa said with a sigh of resignation, "You really know how to pick your companions!"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa fall back to smile alluringly, "Alas Nuwa! The most regal and most elegant beauty of all the goddesses. You do know how to pick. I am really so impressed!"
Yi Ping smiled weakly, "I don't know her past!" He had restrained to add that he had actually found her!
The Goddess Lessica smiled gently, "With the Great Goddess Fantian and the Great Goddess Nuwa fighting on your side, the odds of us winning this immortal war seems much higher now."
The Alluring Goddess Theresa nodded and said, "Before you go, I think that Fu Xi wants to have a final word with you."
The World Ruler Fu Xi nodded as he said solemnly, "I don't know when I will see you again but surely I am sure that it won't be far too long in the future. We will await your return or when the time comes for the Ancient Fortress to return to the Immortal Realm, we will see each other again."
He sighed almost pitifully, "Unfortunately, we have not really fight."
Yi Ping nodded as he thought of the same too. He said, "That is most unfortunately. And unfortunately, I cannot afford to delay any further or sustain any injuries. But I'll promise you this; when we do meet again, we can have a friendly duel!"
The World Ruler Fu Xi laughed aloud, "That will be great but I am afraid that I am no longer your match anymore."
Yi Ping said quietly, "I won't use the Omnipotent Creation Armor. Are you still on?"
The World Ruler Fu Xi laughed heartily as he pat his chest with excitement in his eyes, "That is agreed upon then!"
Yi Ping bowed respectfully with his hands, "Then that's it! Till we see each other again!"
The World Ruler Fu Xi bowed with his hands in return, "Even if you are the Universal Ruler, I will not pull my punches!"
Yi Ping turned to face the Goddess Lessica, the Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero to say, "I have no way to repay our chance encounter!"
The Goddess Lessica smiled warmly, "Don't! Remember what you have said to the rest at the great hall of the Verdant Palace?"
Yi Ping blinked his eyes and asked, "What did I say?"
The Goddess Lessica lowered her glances and said shyly, "That you have chosen me as your consort. I won't pursue it now but don't forget about it!"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa laughed mesmerizingly, "I think that he has already forgotten about it!"
To the startled surprise of the Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Goddess Lessica, the Heaven Goddess Zero and the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien, Yi Ping suddenly said. "I won't. When we meet again, I will take you as my consort."
All of a sudden the Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Heaven Goddess Zero and the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien became very solemn as they seemed to be fallen into a pondering state!
Yi Ping suddenly said with a wry smile, "If the three of you do not mind, you can be my consorts when we have met again."
The Heaven Goddess Zero looked at her sister before asking, "Really?"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa was smiling again as she said, "I will consider then!"
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien smiled, "You have better not go back on your word!"
Yi Ping sighed softly as he smiled back, "If I am unable to catch the hints that you have been dropping me then I must really be blind!"
The Goddess Lessica, the Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien and the Heaven Goddess Zero, even the World Ruler Fu Xi were all laughing heartily when they had heard that.
The Alluring Goddess Theresa smiled with a heartfelt melancholy, "It is time. The stars have begun its crossing. It is time for departure."
The Heaven Goddess Zero was saddened all of a sudden as she nodded, "Till we meet again."
The Dark Goddess Xia Hsien looked at Yi Ping intently before saying, "My heart goes forth for you…"
Yi Ping said solemnly, "Everyone…"
The Alluring Goddess Theresa, the Heaven Goddess Zero and the Dark Goddess Xia Hsien had already lifted their fingers as they struck Yi Ping, immersing him with a soft pink glow…
The Goddess Lessica sighed as she muttered melancholy, "Good bye and till we meet again…"