Category Archives: A Celestial Odyssey

ACO 24

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Chapter 24: The Mysterious Old Man

Lu Xiankai and Xingyun are laughing and chatting as they walk back from the auction house.

Lu Xiankai has pocketed 3.6mil silver talents and he is feeling rich while Xingyun has got herself a Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill and a Mystic Unicorn Horn.

Xingyun says to her protégés when they have reached the gates of the palace, “Thank you everyone. You are all dismissed for the day. I will be fine. I will like to take a walk with Elder Xiankai in the meantime.”

When the protégés are gone, Lu Xiankai says gently to her, “Xingyun, later I will give you the Nine Yin Silver Stem. It will be useful for your Mystic Sword cultivation, enabling you to shorten your charging time and to maintain its physical form longer.”

Xingyun almost jumped and she wants to surrender her soul to him when she has heard it, “The Nine Yin Silver Stem, you have it? That is the dream cultivation stem of every celestial practitioner! You are really giving it to me? You really trust me so much?”

Lu Xiankai whispers, “Naturally. You are my…woman now.”

Xingyun giggles softly, “If you visit a whorehouse then won’t all the whores will be your women? In no time, you will be broke. Then no one will pity you.”

Lu Xiankai protests, “You know that is not what I mean.”

Xingyun turns to look sentimentally at him, “I didn’t say that I will be your woman yet. If you want me to your woman then you have to prepare a fitting bridal gift for me first. Don’t you think so?”

Just as Lu Xiankai wants to protest, the same old man that they had seen earlier at the auction house barged into their midst loudly. “Young man, I will help you to woo her and find a fitting bridal gift. What do you say?”

Lu Xiankai and Xingyun are startled for they did not even hear the old man approaching steps.

Lu Xiankai says, “Whether I will be able to woo her is my own business, that’s none of your business.”

The old man laughs loudly, “Most women are flicker-minded. I will help you to get her into bed. All you need to do is to give me 3 of your Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pills. I have overheard that you have 10.”

Xingyun interrupts, “Go away disgusting old man. Be mindful of your language or I won’t be polite.”

The old man laughs, “I am sure she is all juicy inside. She has such a nice figure…”

Lu Xiankai has raised his palms, “One more word of disrespect from you and I…”

All of a sudden the old man has struck Lu Xiankai with a lightning speed and has sent him flying backward!

Xingyun is startled, “You are a celestial practitioner?”

Only a celestial practitioner is able to push Lu Xiankai like this.

She immediately steps back and fires three beaming sword energies at the old man, “You won’t die but I am going to punish you…”

But the old man simply raises his hand and split her sword energies into nothingness, stunning Lu Xiankai and Xingyun!

They did not even see the old man displaying any celestial aura and yet he can split her sword energies as easy as tofu.

Lu Xiankai immediately raises his celestial aura to the Immortal Celestial level as he says coldly, “Old man, this is going to hurt you…”

The old man smiles and says, “Oh right…”

All of a sudden the old man defences seem to be broken and he is sent flying off.

Lu Xiankai thought, “I hope I didn’t use too much force…”

The old man blinks his eyes as he got up, “You dare to hit me…I suppose to be as immovable as the mountains…”

Then he looks at Lu Xiankai and curses, “The divine celestial force?! No wonder.”

Lu Xiankai and Xingyun are startled that this old man is able to know the name of the divine celestial force.

A white aura starts to envelop around the old man as he got up. This aura is not as strong as they have expected and it only has the appearance of the Enlighten Celestial level.

Then the old man points at them, “You have the divine celestial force up to the Immortal Celestial level while she is a Golden Celestial. Interesting.”

Xingyun is startled. It is because she has been careful to mask her celestial aura. So how did this old man knows that she is a Golden Celestial?

The harmless old man seems to become a formidable old man after he has revealed his fighting aura.

Lu Xiankai says solemnly as his body trembles with fear, “I don’t think this old man is easy for us to fight against. Xingyun, go now! His target is only me.”

Xingyun blurts out as she unsheathes her Sorrowburns precious sword, “I am not going to abandon you.”

The old man laughs, “Good. The lady seems to be interested in you. You have a chance, young man…”

All of a sudden he generates a windforce. Before Lu Xiankai and Xingyun can react, they are knocked onto the ground by a stunning force that seems to tear them apart!

Xingyun has seen the attack coming and she has displays her celestial strength to the Golden Celestial level but she still got overwhelmed and stumbles onto the ground.

Lu Xiankai knew that this old man must be an immortal practitioner for his strength is too overwhelming and he has only displayed his aura to the Enlighten Celestial level only. Obviously if he is serious then he may even destroy the entire city…

Just as he is thinking whether he should release the seal on the blue scabbard to release the Blue Emperor Dragon for a final showdown with him, the old man has suddenly kneels onto the ground to beg him. “Merciful hero, please take pity on me. You know I am so powerful that I can seize your jade belt…”

Lu Xiankai interrupts to say, “Except that you know that only the owner can reach into the jade dimension space. So it is pointless for you to try.”

The old man begs, “That is right. Why don’t you pity an old man like me then?”

Lu Xiankai thought, “I am no match for him and yet he is begging me? What a queer old man.”

He replies, “You say you want to trade for my Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill?”

The old man smiles with beams of hope, “Yes, yes.”

He answers, “It isn’t impossible to have a trade but what do you have?”

The old man smiles, “How about divine swords?”

Lu Xiankai and Xingyun looks at each other with stunned expressions. Divine swords are very precious and only appear in the celestial fraternity once every century. Many of the celestial clans that possess one are the more powerful celestial clans. Even a patriarch clan like the Holy Enigma City does not possess a divine sword. That is how rare divine swords are.

Out of the 100 divine swords that are known, many are currently missing or keep in secret.

The appearance of a divine sword will always spark rivalries between the celestial clans and a battle to possess the divine sword will always happen.

Currently it is believed that the Divine Sword Clan has in its possession three divine swords and that is enough to shake the celestial fraternity!

Lu Xiankai is startled, “You have a divine sword?”

The old man taps his belt and he pulls out a beaming white sword. Using their divine sense, Lu Xiankai and Xingyun can recognize that it is indeed a divine sword!

The old man smiles, “I have three divine swords. A divine sword is worth more than a Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill.”

Lu Xiankai says, “I don’t have any need for so many divine swords. But I have a condition before I trade with you.”

The old man growls, “What condition?”

Lu Xiankai says, “Have us as your protégé disciple.”

The old man is startled as he says nervously, “You’re one of us. I can still consider but she…”

Lu Xiankai says, “After you have made her your protégé disciple then she will be one of us too.”

The old man begins to hesitate, “Is there any other way?”

Lu Xiankai says firmly, “No!”

Xingyun looks at Xiankai and is secretly touched…

The old man sighs, “Then I guess I shall accept both of you as my protégé disciples then.” He suddenly smiles and says, “Shouldn’t you be giving me your three Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pills now?”

Lu Xiankai extends his hand and says, “If you are our protégé master then don’t you think that you should give us a gift first?”

The old man is startled as he says, “What gifts?”

Lu Xiankai points to the divine sword that is in his hand, “A divine sword for the two of us.”

Xingyun laughs, “That is the celestial protocol. A worthy celestial master gives worthy celestial gifts. Or else we will think that our celestial master is a poor celestial master.”

The old man grumbles but he hands over a divine sword to them but he is thinking, “Originally I am planning to give them three divine swords for these three Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pills but I only have to surrender two divine swords now. So I got myself a better deal…now I can look younger with these Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pills…”

He could have asked for more of these Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pills but no more than three can be consumed within a short period of time and he will not need it again for another 500 years.

Lu Xiankai asks smilingly, “We don’t know the name of our Master yet.”

The old man blinks his eyes and is thoughtful for a while before he says coolly, “How about the Ever Encompassing Lord Sovereign?”

Xingyun growls softly, “This sounds like a name that you have just made up.”

The old man laughs, “That is really my immortal name. I didn’t make it up.”

Lu Xiankai quietly asks, “So Master Ever Encompassing Lord Sovereign, who are you actually? Are you an immortal?”

The old man shifts his eyes before saying, “Indeed I am.”

Lu Xiankai asks uneasily before he says with caution, “I have been pursued by I think, are immortal practitioners. You are not going to kill me anytime soon?”

The old man laughed heartily, “I am a benevolent immortal. Do you think that I will be talking to you now if I were them?”

Lu Xiankai asks, “Who are they?”

The old man sighs, “They are the disciples of the Translucence Lord Sovereign. It is really deplorable for the Translucence Lord Sovereign to order his disciples to do something like this.”

Suddenly Xingyun asks, “Master, you didn’t happen to go to the auction house am I right? You are actually looking for us right?”

The old man laughs heartily, “Young woman, you are pretty sharp. The minute someone have started to learn from the Tri-Void Force, I am alerted to it and am curious.”

Lu Xiankai says as he stole a glance at Xingyun, “You know about the Tri-Void Force?”

The old man smiles mysteriously, “As a matter of fact, I am the originator of the Tri-Void Force.”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “That is a surprise. You just remind us to be wary of practicing unknown immortal practice in the future lest we encounter hostile immortals.”

The old man roars into laughter, “Relax. I am here to impart to you the Tri-Void Force so that you don’t mess up my good name in the Immortal Fraternity. You have no idea how fortunate you are at this moment.”

He pauses for a while before he smiles at Xingyun, “And you as well.”

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ACO 23

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Chapter 23: The Auction House

Lu Xiankai and Feiyue Xingyun did not emerge from the secret chamber for two days as they locked themselves in passionate embraces.

Xingyun is now walking delightfully in the city with Lu Xiankai. From her loving sentiments that she is displaying for Lu Xiankai, the general populace and even her escorts thought that there are definitely something that is going on with them.

“Isn’t this the Holy Consort?”

“Who is this man?”

“They are an item?”

As Lu Xiankai walks with Xingyun, he notices that the crowd is getting bigger. Everyone wants to take a glimpse of the Holy Consort and they are waving at their retinue.

He whispers to her, “You seem to be quite popular?”

Xingyun smiles, “That is why I don’t really like to take a tour in my own city. I can’t even visit the popular textiles shops with any peace of mind.”

He says, “You can easily arrange for the textiles to be brought into your palace and you can have a peace of mind.”

Xingyun whispers almost incoherent, “I want everyone to see my bliss and also because I want everyone to see us together.”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly but he quickly says, “In that case, perhaps if you have taken off your veil, then your bliss and beauty can even cause a riot.”

She whispers coyly, “Stop teasing me already.”

Suddenly she says, “We are in the vicinity of the Golden Flag Auction House now. Let’s go and take a look?”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “I have no money…”

Xingyun smiles, “I am as poor as you as well. But as the Holy Consort of the city, they will not refuse our entry. There’s no harm in taking a look.”

Lu Xiankai nods.

Very soon, they have reached the Golden Flag Auction House. It is in another district and this district is grander than any places that Lu Xiankai has seen in the past. There are also many patrolling guards and many people here wear fine dressings.

Like the crowd in the last district, they too, are overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Consort and many respectfully make way for them.

Xingyun whispers as they walk into the auction house, “These are the city’s rich and the merchants from the other cities. Not all are celestials.”

As they enter the halls of the auction house, they are greeted immediately by many beautiful attendants and a lady in charge quickly greets them, “Your Holy Consort. We are honoured by your visit. My apologies for being unprepared for your esteem visit.”

Xingyun replies gently, “I am passing through only and I should apologize for making an unannounced visit.”

The lady in charge quickly says, “Not at all, Holy Consort. We shall give you a VIP lobby with a good view of the auctions that will be taking place soon.”

Xingyun says, “I appreciate your kindness. Please lead us.”

Lu Xiankai says, “Wait. I may have something to auction. Do you think that I can place my stuff for the auctions today?”

Xingyun asks curiously, “Are you in need of money?”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “I am as poor as a beggar.”

The lady in charge says, “May I have a look at the item?”

Lu Xiankai takes out a golden pill from his jade belt of holding, “This is a Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation pill.”

The lady in charge gasps softly and even Xingyun is startled. It is because a Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation Pill is said to be able to keep a person at death’s door. It is even rarer than a Nine-nine Golden Rejuvenation Pill and in the entire history of the Golden Flag Auction House, no one has ever seen one that is being auctioned.

Xingyun smiles weakly, “It is better that we keep it for ourselves. We may very well need that in the near future.”

Lu Xiankai says, “Don’t worry. I have ten of these pills.”

Xingyun and the Lady in charge are shocked. Ten!

Even the existence of one will be hotly contested and be considered a heritage treasure of the celestial clan!

Xingyun whispers weakly, “How do you get so many? You must tell me later or I won’t let you off, humph!”

The Lady in charge examines the golden pill carefully with her divine sense as she mutters, “This is the real stuff. The auction house will take 10% as commission from you when it is sold. Please, this way to the VIP lobbies…”

“Hey young man, wait!” An old voice calls out suddenly.

Lu Xiankai and Xingyun turns around to see an old man being hold off by their retinue of guards.

The old man says frantically, “Don’t bring that to the auction house. If my old eyes are not wrong, what you have is the Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation Pill? Sell it to me. I will give you something in return.”

Lu Xiankai asks, “Do you have money?”

The old man is startled, “Money? Hell, no! What should I do with money anyway? But I have worthy divine treasures that may catch your eyes…”

Lu Xiankai smiles gently, “But I do have a need for money. Money can buy many things and can even be used for trade.”

Xingyun smiles and asks, “Old man, what divine treasures do you have?”

The old man murmurs, “I can’t show anyone my divine treasures. It is too precious. My divine treasure for your Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation Pill…”

But before he can finish, Lu Xiankai and Xingyun have already entered the VIP halls, leaving the old man screaming outside.

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “What a crazy old man.”

As they enter into the VIP lobby, they can see that the balcony of the room is facing the auction and there are already many people below.

The lady in charge smiles and says, “I take my leave now.”

Xingyun smiles to the six protégés that with her, “Please wait outside the room.”

When the six protégés left the room, Xingyun begin to lean against Lu Xiankai and ask. “How did you get these Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation Pills?”

Lu Xiankai takes out one Nine-nine Golden Vitality Rejuvenation Pill and places it in her hand, “For you.”

Xingyun is startled as she mutters, “For me? It is too precious a gift…”

Lu Xiankai nods, “Nothing is too precious for my love. I have concocted these divine pills myself just in case I need it by sourcing the precious herbs of the Great Northern Territories.”

Xingyun is bleary eyed as she holds the Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill tightly in her hand, “It is said that this Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill can even save the lives of the celestial practitioners that are taking the Divine Calamity.”

Lu Xiankai nods, “That is true.”

Xingyun asks innocently, “How do I repay you?”

Lu Xiankai laughs softly, “You already have…”

Xingyun begins to flush as she knows what he means and she looks at him endeavouring…

Lu Xiankai pulls himself from her eyes and says, “Look, the auction is about to begin.”

Indeed, a beautiful auctioneer is already on the stage and is talking.

She says, “Today we have a special item that is going up for auction. It isn’t in the catalogue and is a mystery auction item.”

She claps her hands and a golden pill in a glass box is carefully brought into the stage by two young attendants.

“This is the…” She pauses for it to sink in, “…the Nine-nine Vitality Rejuvenation Pill. A golden pill that can revive the dead and to reverse aging. Some say that if a non-celestial take it, their meridian channels can even be cleared and they can also start to cultivate as a celestial.”

Immediately the halls erupts into loud commotions as everyone begin to lean forward and some even drop the wine glass that are in their hands!

She adds, “The starting bid will be 500k talents of silver. Each bid will be 100k talents of silver in increment.”

Almost immediately, someone bids. “1 mil silver talents!”

“1.2 mil silver talents!”

“1.5 mil silver talents!…”

“1.8 mil silver talents!”

“2.1 mil silver talents!”

“4mil silver talents!” A deep voice says, startling everyone with the almost doubled bid.

It comes from a fine looking young man that is the hall. From his seasoned look and the artefacts that he is carrying on him, he seems to be a celestial practitioner.

Lu Xiankai comments on him, “He has an extraordinary aura that is difficult to mask. No doubt about it that he is a celestial practitioner.”

Xingyun says, “I recognize him. He is Zhang Deshun, the young master of Divine Sword Clan, one of the nine patriarch celestial clans. It seems that he is visiting incognito for we have never received word of his arrival. This may spell trouble for I don’t see what good he is up to.”

“Counting one, counting two…counting three…this young master here has won the bid!”

The rest of the auctions are not that interesting except for the horn of the mystic unicorn. The horn of the mystic unicorn is able to enhance the yin essence energies and maintain the youthfulness of the female celestial practitioners.

Xingyun almost bid for it when Lu Xiankai says quietly to her, “I will give it to you later. I just happen to have one with me now.”

She is startled for the Mystic Unicorn is extremely elusive and is an eighth rank demonic beast.

“2.8 mil silver talents!” That is the final bid for the horn of the mystic unicorn.

Xingyun sighs softly, “Now I have realized how rich you are.”

Lu Xiankai smiles, “I have only realized today as well, thanks to my old master.”

His old master had collected many precious herbs and items, giving to him when he had passed away.

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ACO 22

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Chapter 22: The Tri-Void Force

Lu Xiankai remembered the time that he had his first celestial practice.

His Master who styled himself the Dragon Animus Sage, was an Automatous celestial (散仙), had adopted him when he was just a newborn. It was from him that he had learnt the Dragon Spirit and the Great Rejuvenation Force.

His Master told him, “There are a total of six celestial ranks for you to overcome. The ranks are Practitioner, Master Practitioner, Enlighten Celestial, Immortal Celestial, Golden Celestial and Sacred Saint.”

“You are now starting as a mere Zen Practitioner where you will be cultivating your celestial energies in your inner core to harness your strength. As a result, your strength, stamina and endurance will exceed the ordinary man. If you are able to achieve complete harmony with your inner core, your enlightenment will advance to the Master Practitioner level. At this level, you will be able to imbue your celestial force into your weapons, shattering iron and steel with ease.”

“However you are not considered to be a true celestial until you have reached the third celestial rank, the level of the Enlighten Celestial. You will be able to able to create sword energies from your celestial energies and your celestial aura will be strong enough to protect you from damaging injuries. Only 20% of the celestial practitioners are able to attain to this level, through divine pills, hard work or talent. You will be widely respected for reaching this level.”

“The forth celestial rank is the Immortal Celestial level and your celestial aura will be a visible bluish hue. An Immortal Celestial marks the beginning of the difference in strength between the celestial practitioners. An average Immortal Celestial is 2-3 times stronger and more formidable than an Enlighten Celestial. At this level, I will impart to you my Great Rejuvenation Force to you to strengthen your inner core and the Dragon Spirit celestial skill as your offensive skill. The Dragon Spirit technique may be able to manifest a tremendous amount of energies to deliver a tremendous impact but it will also consume a great deal of your inner core energies. Only 4% of the celestial practitioners will be able to attain to this level.”

“When you get to the Golden Celestial level, you will gain a golden animus and a golden body that accelerates your healing and makes you immune to poisons. Such is the strength of your golden animus that you will be able to shape it into wings to gain flight and levitation. A Golden Celestial is 3-5 times stronger than an Immortal Celestial but only 1% of the celestial practitioners can ever hope to attain to this level. You can only hope to attain but not force. To be a Golden Celestial is like a dream to many.”

Lu Xiankai asked, “Isn’t there a Sacred Saint level? Isn’t that the dream level?”

His Master smiled, “While you can still have a little hope for the Golden Celestial level, the Sacred Saint level is like an impossible dream. Maybe only 1 out of every 100 Golden Celestials, there will be a Sacred Saint. In order to transmigrate to a Sacred Saint, the Golden Saint must first overcome a Divine Calamity as their tribulation.”

Lu Xiankai said with childlike innocent, “Then I want to be a Sacred Saint in the future. How strong is a Sacred Saint?”

His Master had no answers for that but many years later he is able to answer himself; 4-7 times stronger than a Golden Celestial.

Feiyue Xingyun interrupts his thoughts as she walks into the secret chamber, “You have been contemplating over the scroll fragment for almost a week now. Is there any progress?”

Somehow Lu Xiankai is glad to see her after she was away for three days to settle some clan affairs.

Lu Xiankai says, “The celestial intricate formula of the scroll is really profound. I have tried a hundred thousand means to piece the missing runes but the possibilities are too many. There are just too many deviants. I didn’t attempt least I will be affected by phenomena deviant.”

Xingyun nods. While the celestial practice is free to interpret for the celestial practitioners, many will only use the proven methods to cultivate. It is because once a celestial practitioner begins to practice on a deviant celestial practice, there is no way to return and their inner core energies will be shaped by the new practice.

She smiles an encouragement to him, “Don’t be disheartened. At least we now know that a superior celestial skill did exist. Too bad it is only a fragment.”

Lu Xiankai says, “Actually this fragment is already quite helpful. It tells us that we have to upgrade our celestial energies to divine celestial energies in order to use the Tri-Void Force. Even the method is also listed but I can’t be too sure.”

Xingyun is startled, “Really? What method?”

Lu Xiankai says, “I can’t be too sure but it seems that we have to refine our inner core anew.”

Xingyun is amused, “Surely there is no way…”

Lu Xiankai ponders and says, “I have actually nearly destroys my inner core during the fight with the black robe man and almost die. After that I have spent more than a thousand years to re-cultivate back to the Sacred Saint level again. But I feel that my celestial energies are purer and stronger than the first time that I was a Sacred Saint.”

Xingyun asks curiously, “Hmph? No one will be crazy to destroy their inner core and to cultivate anew again. It is more likely that the celestial practitioner won’t be able to cultivate again once the inner core is destroyed.”

Lu Xiankai smiles bitterly, “I almost die when my inner core is burnt up. My internal organs are all damaged as a result. If not for the Blue Emperor Dragon of which I share a bond, I would not be able to cultivate again.”

Xingyun asks, “Do you think that your current celestial energies is already the divine celestial energies?”

Lu Xiankai replies, “I have also assumed and calibrate my calculations based on it. But it is still off.

The Tri-Void Force…no wait…this part…” He is suddenly excited as his fingers moved rapidly to calculate.

Although Xingyun cannot know what is going on in his mind, she is excited as well for it means that he is on something.

Finally Xiankai says, “I think I can make this Tri-Void Force works for me. But I need to amalgamate the Blue Emperor Dragon life force energies with my celestial energies.”

Xingyun asks with concern, “Is it easy? Is it risky?”

Lu Xiankai says, “Don’t worry. Our energies have long been amalgamated a long time ago. It is just that I have always tapped on my own celestial energies. I have never considered that I may be able to tap on the Blue Emperor Dragon’s life force energies.”

He did not waste any time and immediately he fell into a meditating trance as he holds onto the blue scabbard. After a while, a wisp of smoke appears on his head and his eyes are opened.

Xingyun is startled, “So fast?”

Lu Xiankai did not know the passage of time in the real world but during his trance, a hundred years of pondering trance had taken place as he drawn upon this new celestial energies.

He says, “I can now access the initial stage of the Tri-Void Force with this new celestial energies. This is indeed the divine celestial energies. But this is one problem though.”

Xingyun asks him anxiously, “There is a drawback?”

Lu Xiankai nods, “I can only use the divine celestial energies as an Immortal Celestial. It is because I didn’t realise that I have possessed this untapped source of celestial energies in the past therefore I have never cultivate with it. Meaning, I have to re-cultivate again and I have to breakthrough to the Golden Celestial and Sacred Saint level with the divine celestial energies in order to realize the full potential of the Tri-Void Force.”

Xingyun smiles, “As soon as there is a way to cultivate then it won’t be much of an issue. But you have to face the life and death tribulation again.”

Lu Xiankai sighs, “Indeed. I dread that. Two times I had taken that and narrowly survived. To think that I may have to take it for the third time…”

Xingyun says melancholy, “Once my cultivation of the Golden Celestial is at the peak, I will have to undergo the Divine Calamity and to face my life and death tribulation. Failure will mean that I will fly to ashes.”

Lu Xiankai says gently to her, “You can pass. I will help you.”

Xingyun begins to lean closely against him, “I…thank you…”

Lu Xiankai can feel her soft bosoms against him and as he looks down her neck into her revealing bosoms, he is filled with desire for her and he wants her.

Feiyue Xingyue smiles coyly as hot flushes appear as she seems to know what he is thinking, “What are you staring at? Your Holy Consort commands you to fly me to the Ninth Heavens…”

Lu Xiankai says gently as he looks at her sentimentally, “I will…”

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ACO 21

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Book 2

Chapter 21: Holy Enigma City

Holy Enigma City.

Lu Xiankai asks, “Xingyun, what is that you want to show me?”

Xingyun smiles alluringly as they walk in the secret passage, “I’m taking you into my clan’s secret chamber. Away from prying eyes and ears, it is much more convenient for us to talk.”

She adds, “Other than me, no one has ever been allowed into this secret chamber for it is our clan sacred ground. I’ve made you an elder of the Holy Enigma City. With your attainment as an Immortal Celestial, it seems that the clan elders are quite pleased with your appointment.”

It is an understatement. It seems that the elders of the Holy Enigma City are actually quite docile when she had announced that she was going to appoint him as an elder. Lu Xiankai had been expecting a major upheaval and a heated discussion; after all he is an outsider and did not have any celestial blood ties with the elders.

It seems that the elders of the clan have high regards for Feiyue Xingyun and whenever she started to speak, they would nod attentively.

And so Lu Xiankai was made an elder of the Holy Enigma City, just like that.

Feiyue Xingyun taps on a wall before pushing against the brick on the wall to reveal a secret chamber as she says, “C’mon in.”

As Feiyue Xingyun slowly lit the candles, Lu Xiankai can see that the chamber is actually quite spacious. There is even a bed chamber, tables, chairs and rows of book shelves.

She says gently as she browses the book shelf, “Have a seat first.”

Lu Xiankai sits down but he is soon saying, “From now on, should I address you as Great Immortal or Holy Consort?”

Holy Consort is the title for the Grandmaster of the Holy Enigma City.

Feiyue Xingyun says without turning back, “Not Great Immortal. I don’t wish for the others to know that I’ve attained as a Golden Celestial. You may address me as Xingyun. If there are others, then you stick to my honorific title. You are a Great Saint and your status is higher than I. If you don’t mind, can I call you Xiankai? It is more…”

She lowers her eyes and says softly, “…intimate this way.”

Lu Xiankai says, “I don’t mind.”

He quickly adds, “Why are you concealing your celestial level? If you have made known to the other celestial clans that you’re a Golden Celestial then the Holy Enigma City won’t be belittled and you will also gain the prestige that accompanies your title.”

She sighs softly, “The Holy Enigma City isn’t a big clan as compare to the olden days. We don’t have a lot of celestial practitioners either.”

Lu Xiankai says, “The Holy Enigma City seems to be a bigger city than the Tearless City.”

Xingyun smiles, “Maybe that is the only achievement that we have. Do you see a lot of protégés just now?”

Without waiting for Lu Xiankai to answer, she continues. “That is because we are a pure celestial clan. We are still sticking to the old ways therefore we are not as powerful as the other celestial clans that greatly outnumber us. The ordinary men should be free to lead their own ordinary lives, don’t you think so?”

Lu Xiankai nods slowly as he adds, “The Celestials should instead be protecting them from the demonic beasts and the dark celestial practitioners.”

Xingyun smiles, “That is the principle of the Holy Enigma City. As long as they are able to lead peaceful lives, I will be glad.”

Lu Xiankai sighs softly, “Then you should try to take care of yourself more and not get into more reckless fights. The people need you…”

Xingyun smiles, “Oh? Are you concern about me then?”

She says melancholy, “Our clan is not wealthy and we don’t have many fighters that can gather the celestial resources from the mountains. The black market prices for some of the rare celestial resources can even bankrupt a small celestial clan. Therefore I have to travel incognito and try to find some of the rare resources myself. Or else…”

She suddenly smiles as she gives him a flirty look, “Or else I won’t have the chance to meet you, am I right?”

Somehow Lu Xiankai has missed the look that is in her eyes as he thought, “Maybe I have misunderstood her after all. She isn’t as bad as she looks. She is really the Protégé Mistress of the Holy Enigma City. She is not only beautiful but her heart is kind as well. And her spirits is determined and strong…”

Xingyun begins to fluster as she notices that Lu Xiankai is staring at her, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

Lu Xiankai murmurs quickly as he averts his eyes, “Nothing…”

Xingyun lowers her eyes and holds her hands to her bosoms as she says silently, “I really like you but do you like me?”

Lu Xiankai suddenly asks, “What are you looking for?”

Xingyun is doused from her thoughts as she quickly answers, “Just a while more. I am looking for something…here it is. I’ve found it.”

There is an ordinary wooden box in her hand and within it, is a fragmented scroll that appears to be burnt.

Xingyun carefully places the fragmented scroll in front of him and says, “This is our clan greatest secret. Do you want to know?”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “There is probably a price for hearing. But I am all ears.”

Xingyun smiles, “Your attainment is higher than me. Can you decipher the contents of this scroll?”

At first Lu Xiankai is not interested but the contents of the scroll quickly catches his attention as he stammers, “This…is about cultivating the celestial force to a divine celestial force? Does it works?”

Xingyun says hesitatingly, “My ancestors had attempted decipher it but they had all failed. Therefore I do not know either. It is only a fragment. Without the full scroll, there is simply no way for us to practice. Do you have any insights?”

Lu Xiankai plays with the leftover of the inscriptions of the scroll in his mind. A celestial scroll is different from an ordinary writing. Much of the inscriptions are actually in a random order. A verse will usually give as much insight and each verses of a celestial skill scroll have their own interpretations and meanings.

He says, “I can only tell that the name of this celestial skill is the Tri Void Force using the Divine Celestial Force.”

Xingyun’s eyes are beaming as she nods excitingly, “You are a genius! It takes my ancestors’ ages to decipher that much and yet you are able to tell so much in such a short time. What else can you read from the scroll?”

Lu Xiankai sighs as he looks at her, “Why are you showing me? It is too precious to share. And how did your ancestor get it?”

Xingyun looks endeavoring into his eyes, “I trust you. That’s why…” But she left it uncompleted. She quickly says, “And because you may be the only one that can decipher the mysteries of this celestial skill.”

Lu Xiankai says quietly, “I do not warrant your trust. You don’t know me or who I am. But I am really curious how this scroll is obtained?”

Xingyun smiles faintly, “It happened a long time ago. A reverenced ancestor of mine happened to witness a battle between two celestial practitioners. Normally that isn’t something that is extraordinary but their fights are out of the world and they could smolder the mountains, something that celestial practitioners cannot accomplish. They are definitely not of the Sacred Saint level and are even stronger.”

Lu Xiankai’s interests are suddenly aroused as he listens intently…

She says, “They seem to be fighting over this celestial scroll that you have seen earlier. Normally a celestial scroll is almost indestructible but their fights were extremely violent and the celestial scroll was torn into many pieces. That is how my ancestor got this fragment.”

She looks at Lu Xiankai and asks, “Do you believe me?”

Lu Xiankai nods slowly, “I believe you. Who do you think those two celestial practitioners are?”

Xingyun replies, “My reverenced ancestor had tried to find out but they were totally unknown. Or rather, they may not be from the Celestial Realm but are…”

Lu Xiankai says at the same time, “…immortals. Immortal practitioners.”

Xingyun looks at him curiously, “You know something?”

Lu Xiankai smiles bitterly, “I have fought with one and I’ve lost completely. There isn’t even a fighting chance.”

Now it is Feiyue Xingyun’s turn to express astonishment, “You had fought with one before?”

Then she claps her hands, “Now that makes plenty of sense.”

Lu Xiankai asks curiously, “What do you mean?”

Xingyun says, “It is no wonder why my reverenced ancestor had warned us not to reveal our enlightenment and to keep as low as profile as before. It is also no wonder…”

She pauses before her she looks at him intently, “…that we don’t have any Sacred Saints in the entire Celestial Realm now. Maybe there were in the past but they were all killed by them. Correctly, there is one sitting here right now.”

Lu Xiankai nods slowly, “The question is why?”

Suddenly he is feeling excited that he has finally found some hints. It is because until today he has no idea why Yeqiu Lingling had wanted to kill him.

He mutters, “Why kill all the Sacred Saints?”

Xingyun injects, “Not just Sacred Saints. It includes all the peaked Golden Saints that have the potential to become a Sacred Saint as well.”

Lu Xiankai is startled as he asks, “Really?”

Xingyun asks, “Are you a renegade celestial practitioner?”

A renegade celestial practitioner is someone that cultivates alone and did not join any celestial clan. Most celestial practitioners prefer to be in a celestial clan for shared celestial resources as well as for protection.

Lu Xiankai smiles faintly, “Yes, I am.”

She says coolly, “That may be the reason why you are able to advance as a Sacred Saint and evade getting killed.”

Lu Xiankai nods. He was already a peaked Sacred Saint when he had met Yeqiu Lingling. Back then she was pleading for adventurers to kill the Blue Emperor Dragon and he was only too glad to impress her and the rest of the Celestials how good he is…

At that time he had thought of visiting the celestial clans and their Sacred Saints to exchange for more celestial practice and tips. But to his disappointment, he seemed that he was the only one…

Xingyun interrupts his thoughts, “I have already told you this much. Shouldn’t you tell me more about your background and your fight with that immortal?”

Lu Xiankai sighs and nods. He goes on to tell her everything except that Yeqiu Lingling is the black robe man. It is not because he does not trust her but some things are better not to be said at this time.

Then Xingyun suddenly says, “You must have met the black robe man again. Because when I saw you, you are blackened by an intense celestial flame and this celestial flame is not any ordinary flame. And because of that, you have no wish to return to the Honor Ode Clan. Am I right?”

Her sudden question had left him stunned for he did not know that she had been bidding her time to ask him this question. Her intellect and wit are not to be underestimated or else she would not be an Upper Tied Golden Celestial now.

Lu Xiankai nods slowly.

Xingyun asks curiously, “Who is he?”

Lu Xiankai shakes his head, “It is safer for you if I do not tell you.”

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ACO 20

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Chapter 20: The Giga Anaconda

The Giga Anaconda is huge, have eyes that is bigger than a full size man and a large jewel that adorns its forehead. When it moves, the ground below is sent into tremors and the mountains begin to shake.

Feiyue Xingyun winks at Lu Xiankai, “What are you waiting for? Why don’t you use…”

Lu Xiankai says solemnly, “You’re not supposed to mention it. Moreover, with the two of us here, we will be able to handle it.”

Feiyue Xingyun sighs softly, “Well, if you say so then.”

She quickly forms a golden celestial formation in front of her as six golden swords begin to form from her celestial force. This is her Intricate Golden Mystic Swords.

Lu Xiankai positions himself into an attack stance before his blue celestial force begins to form into a harkening dragon spirit that charges toward the Giga Anaconda!

Feiyue Xingyun mutters, “Go!” as her six golden swords fly at a startling speed at the Giga Anaconda.

Her golden animus is even brighter than the last time that Lu Xiankai had seen her. It seems that she had already elevated herself successfully into an Upper Tier Golden Celestial.

The Giga Anaconda roars in pain as it try to shake off the materialized celestial force that is on it, its body slamming into the mountain cliffs and causing boulders to fall thunderously on the ground below.

Feiyue Xingyun evades the falling boulders and maintains the focus of her golden swords that have pierced into the Giga Anaconda, “Monster, the celestial swords of a Golden Celestial is not that easy to shake off.”

Lu Xiankai in the meantime has already readied another Dragon Spirit to strike at the Giga Anaconda. Unlike Feiyue Xingyun’s celestial technique that can persist in materialized form with focus, his Dragon Spirit celestial technique is a burst of raw celestial power that implodes with devastating effect.

When the Giga Anaconda roars out in pain once again, Lu Xiankai has leapt on its forehead as he thrusts his blue scabbard into its jewel forehead, cracking the jewel almost immediately.

This causes the Giga Anaconda to give a final death roar before it crumbles onto the ground motionlessly.

Lu Xiankai stumbles back in exhaustion while Feiyue Xingyun quickly gathers the scatter jewels as her eyes beam excitingly, “I’ve finally got the Giga Jewels…”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “You may well lose your life today if I am not here. A seventh grade demonic beast isn’t for…”

Feiyue Xingyun tiptoes on her heels as she looks endearingly into his eyes, “You’ve saved my life two times already. Aren’t our fates intertwined somehow?”

Lu Xiankai’s heart skips a beat as he looks into her alluring eyes as he says forcibly, “No!”

Standing this close together, he has remembered the sweet scent of her lips and her sensual figure.

She seems undeterred as she continues, “You don’t find me attractive?”

Lu Xiankai refuses to answer her as he starts to walk away.

She asks melancholy, “Because in your heart, you like the young mistress of the Honor Ode Clan. Am I right?”

Lu Xiankai stops in his track and says, “You are wrong. In fact, from this day onward, I have nothing to do with the Honor Ode Clan.”

She is startled but regains her composure to ask, “Your injuries. Who is the one that can possibly injure you into this state? Don’t tell me it is the Honor Ode Clan?”

Lu Xiankai says coldly, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Feiyue Xingyun immediately pleads softly, “Don’t go yet. You didn’t even say a good farewell the last time and now you are leaving just like that? Why don’t you join me at the Holy Enigma City? The Holy Enigma City may not be as influential as the Honor Ode Clan but it still has considerable resources and influences. Come join me.”

Lu Xiankai smiles bitterly, “I am just an outsider. What is the point of joining your clan when I have to beg to join the ascendant event of the immortal sword? Moreover, I am getting the immortal sword for myself and not for your clan.”

Feiyue Xingyun holds his hand as she looks pleadingly with him, “You may have the immortal sword. The Holy Enigma City will only assist you in obtaining the sword. What do you say?”

Lu Xiankai says, “I doubt the others in the Holy Enigma City will agree to it.”

Feiyue Xingyun giggles softly, “They don’t have to agree. They will only need to obey my very commands.”

Lu Xiankai asks curiously, “What do you mean?”

Feiyue Xingyun smiles, “That is because I’m the protégé grandmaster of the Holy Enigma City. My will is their commands. So what do you think?”

Lu Xiankai starts to walk off, “Let me think about it…”

Feiyue Xingyun walks jovially beside him, “So you have agreed?”

He replies, “I have never said that…”

She suddenly points to a path and says, “We should go this way…”

Lu Xiankai asks, “Are you really the grandmaster of the Holy Enigma City?”

Feiyue Xingyun laughs softly, “Naturally I am.”

Book 1 End

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ACO 19

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Chapter 19: Feiyue Xingyun

Lu Xiankai floats in the torrential waters for some time, gripping his blue scabbard tightly. His mind is in the blank.

He had not suspected that Yeqiu Lingling would be the one that had attacked him. All this while she had led him to an entrapment. Is she is so much powerful than him, why did she not take him down in the first instance but instead, she had played the game of cat and mouse with him?

Because she had wanted to lead him to a place where there were no others. She wanted him to vanish completely, leaving no one to remember him.

But why?

He taps his chest gently and feels the thin armor within. It is a lucky thing that he had spent a hundred years to collect the Icy Mysterious Silk from the Ten-Eyes Winter Spiders to make the Icy Mysterious Silk Vest. This vest is able to protect him from the fiery fire by neutralizing the heat.

The fireball that had struck him was not comparable to the divine fire that had hurt him a thousand years ago of course so there is no way for him to know if the Icy Mysterious Silk Vest is effective or not. But at least today his internal organs are protected and with his Great Rejuvenate Force, his external injuries will be healed soon.

She probably thought that the fireball is good enough to kill him, not realizing that he has a protection. That is only because she tries to be discreet. If she had used the more powerful divine fire then the entire mountains would be a smothering black and voided of life.

He had not expected that he could meet the black robe man today and once again, he could feel the vast gap in their celestial strength. How someone so powerful could have existed in the entire Celestial Realm?

The very reason why he has wanted to seek the immortal sword is to avenge for Yeqiu Lingling but she has suddenly become his enemy…

Yeqiu Lingling is simply too formidable for him…

That is probably not her name.

Who is she?

He has suddenly realized that he had known very little about her. He had been overwhelmed by her idolization in the past and now he feels like an idiot.

But he is suddenly laughing heartily as he leaps to the riverbed. He is still alive after all and he is glad. Once again, he has no burdens and he is back to the old days.

It is as though he is suddenly set free.

What does the fate of the Celestial Realm has to do with me? I’ve always been cultivating alone.

All of a sudden he halts in his steps as he ponders, “Is there a divinity above the Sacred Saint level?”

The celestial practice is known to all the celestials and everyone has been practicing from the same set of intricate formula. To the celestials, the celestial practice is perfect and the highest attainment is the Sacred Saint level. But what if it is not?

He is already a peaked Sacred Saint and yet he is still overwhelmed by her celestial force. Even if he has the aid of the Blue Emperor Dragon, he knows that he will not be able to defeat her. It may be a good thing that he did not even have the opportunity to use his secret blue scabbard artifact and he can still save it for later at a more opportune timing.

All of a sudden he can see a maiden in red dancing along the cliffs as she battles a gigantic snake. This is the Giga Anaconda, a seventh grade demonic beast. Its strength is equivalent to a Golden Celestial!

As the maiden in red turns her face, he is startled to see a familiar face, “Feiyue Xingyun? Why is she here?”

The maiden in red has also seen him but instead of greeting him, she has suddenly sped to him to deliver a slashing stroke with her projected celestial force!

Only when Lu Xiankai has blocked her projectile sword stroke with his blue scabbard did she hesitates to ask, “Lu Xiankai?”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “You seem to be in a little trouble this time.”

Feiyue Xingyun smiles alluringly, “And you look terribly pathetic now. Are you alright?”

Lu Xiankai answers, “I just survive your sword energies so I guess I’m alright.”

She smiles panicky as she glances at the fast approaching Giga Anaconda, “Good. Because I am going to need your help now…”

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ACO 18

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Chapter 18: Yeqiu Lingling

The Patriarch Dowager has just dismisses her four waiting maids and is seen walking to a mountain pavilion to overlook the lofty mountain peaks.

Finally she says softly, “You can come out now. You have been following me for some time.”

Lu Xiankai walks out of the shadows as he looks stupefied at her, “I…you…”

The Patriarch Dowager seems to be startled when she saw Lu Xiankai. Slowly she removes her veil and says, “It is you. No time no see.”

She shares similarities to Xue Yu, but is more beautiful and refined.

Lu Xiankai is bleary eyed as he begins to tremble, “Lingling, it is really you. I’ve thought that I would never see you again. That day, that day…I…”

She says gently, “Yes, it is me. I have never thought that I will see you again as well.”

Lu Xiankai asks, “Are you well? All these years, how have you been? I really miss you.”

She nods slowly, “I am well.”

Lu Xiankai is suddenly perplexed, “But how is it possible? How did you possibly have survived?…”

She smiles faintly, “And how did I have lived so long?”

Lu Xiankai nods slowly, “You’re a Sacred Saint now?”

She replies, “I am not.”

Lu Xiankai says, “Oh?”

She says slowly, “You shouldn’t have come today, really. You have escaped death once before and I promise you I won’t give you a second chance today.”

Lu Xiankai is startled, “What do you mean?”

She says, “What is the name that I have used before? Yeqiu Lingling? I’ve almost forgotten about it. It has been more than a thousand years already?”

Lu Xiankai steps back all of a sudden and say, “You’re that black robe man?”

She smiles faintly, “You seem to realize this a little late…”

All of a sudden she has raised her palm and in the next instant she has aimed it at Lu Xiankai!

Lu Xiankai quickly raises his palm to take the blow and there is a thunderous impact. Before he knows what is going on, he has coughed out blood and he is thrown down the mountainous peak!

She is heard saying, “Your celestial strength is only at the level of an Immortal Celestial? Did I use too much force?”

All of a sudden there is a blazing fireball that flies from above and it strikes Lu Xiankai with a blazing explosion as the entire mountains begin to tremble!

She is heard humming coldly, “I am just making sure you are dead this time. What Sacred Saint? I am a great goddess…”

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ACO 17

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Chapter 17: The Jade Pendant

Only three groups out of nine managed to complete the missions in three days.

Out of five hundred protégés, there are a hundred protégés dead or missing. Another two hundreds are seriously wounded.

The mission is a shock and an eye opening for many of the protégés.

In Lu Xiankai’s eyes, this trial is too brutal. This is not the same Celestial Fraternity that he had remembered. During his era, the Celestials would never risk the lives of the ordinary nor uses them as weapons.

Qiu Shengjun is not surprised that Lu Xiankai and his group have passed the trial. After all he had seen him took down a Four Eyes Demon.

So he merely nods to Master Practitioner Longxi who reacts with surprise; it is because Master Practitioner Longxi has not expected this group to be able to overcome their mission. In his mind, they must have a lot of luck and guts.

There are a lot of wailings and the medical practitioners are panicky as they tend to the wounded.

Lu Xiankai’s group is quiet. While they are grateful to Lu Xiankai for helping them to advance as protégés, they feel a sense of guilt for not contributing and they have been so terrified by the encounter with the Elder Myriad Centipede.

Even Ma Biao who often rebukes Lu Xiankai, is surprising quiet as he struggles to walk with his wounded arm. Today he has gained a new respect for Lu Xiankai and never again will he rebuke him again for he had dared to speak out to Yin Tianxing and had tried to save everyone.

Today, everyone from this group knows that they have a formidable fighter in their midst and that is Lu Xiankai.

Even the surviving three celestial practitioners, including Yin Tianxing are filled with respect and idolization for Lu Xiankai.

All the maidens in the group have their hearts melted when they look at Lu Xiankai…

However Lu Xiankai did not take notice of the changing sentiments in his group. To him, it is just a trivial thing and he has fought even stronger demonic beasts in the past.

Only one thing bugs and matters to him; the ascendant event of the immortal sword. The Honor Ode Clan will surely be there but how does he get into the selection list?

The ascendant event of the immortal sword is a top secret celestial event and the ordinary protégés could not possibly know. Not even Enlighten Celestial Qiu Shengjun is aware of it.

He knows that he has to go to the Divine Flying Fox Peaks when the times come, no matter if he is selected or not.

All of sudden the entire column stops marching as Enlighten Celestial Qiu Shengjun and all the other masters speed in front of them to bow with their hands to a lady in front of them.

Lu Xiankai has sharp ears and he can hear Qiu Shengjun saying respectfully to her, “Patriarch Dowager, we are just coming back from the Thousands Stinging Swamp with the protégés for their trial.”

The lady nods quietly, “I see. You may continue. I’m just taking a stroll with my maids.”

Lu Xiankai thought, “Patriarch Dowager? Isn’t that Xue Yu’s grandmother?”

All of a sudden he turns white with ashen as he catches sight of a hanging jade pendant by her side, “Isn’t this…isn’t this her possession?”

He had suddenly recognized that the hanging jade pendant is a possession of Yeqiu Lingling…

He is startled, “She…is still alive?”

No matter what, he has to find out today!

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ACO 16

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Chapter 16: The Elder Myriad Centipede

They had break camp at the first sight of dawn at the commands of Yin Tianxing who has assumed leadership of the group.

He is the leader while the other three Celestials who are with him are his ‘lieutenants’.

They have advanced in front while the rest of the group begins to trek behind them.

Chu Hai is seen talking to the attractive medical practitioner and there is a glow on his face.

Yuwen Feng whispers to Lu Xiankai, “It seems that a romance is blossoming between our Brother Chu Hai and that maiden. We have no hope now.”

Lu Xiankai smiles weakly, “Who says I’m interested in her?”

Yuwen Feng says, “I saw you looking at her…”

Lu Xiankai quickly interrupts, “It is one thing to admire and another thing to love. One day, you will understand what is mean to love.”

Yuwen Feng smiles bitterly, “If we have the chance. The lives of a sword protégés are short. Either we perish fighting the other clans or we get killed by the demonic beasts. I’m only here because the clan is able to take care of my livelihood. I have no other illusions. How about you?”

Lu Xiankai says, “Me? I didn’t give much thought.”

Yuwen Feng whispers, “Actually, I am not surprised if you are not interested in women. Some others join the clan because they have a peculiar interest and there are plenty of men around.”

Lu Xiankai asks, “What…”

But before he can asks further, Yin Tianxing shouts. “There is a cave in front. We are going in now. Everyone draws your swords and be on your best vigilant!”

The entrance of the cave is very large and can even accommodate everyone to enter at the same time. When their torches are readied, they begin to enter the cave.

Lu Xiankai has an uneasy feeling about the cave so he whispers, “Slaying demonic beasts are never easy. We must really be careful.”

The interior of the cave is large as well and the tunnels are extensive. After traveling for thirty minutes in the interior, they could still see no sight of the end.

Lu Xiankai leaps to the front of the party and approaches Yin Tianxing, “It is not a good idea for us to venture too deep. We should post some sentries outside in case we need support and start to make markers first. Or else we may easily get lost.”

Yin Tianxing growls, “Are you afraid? I am the leader or you are the leader? Our mission is fairly straightforward. We only need to find the horns of the Myriad Centipede and be done with it. We are lucky enough to find a possible lair. If we don’t explore the cave, how do we even find the Myriad Centipede and be done with our mission?”

All of a sudden there are shouts of panic as the group catches sight of hundreds of skeleton remains in front of them!

When Lu Xiankai catches sight of the hundreds of skeleton remains, he shouts. “Not good! Everyone makes a run to the entrance and as fast as possible…”

Yin Tianxing shouts, “Hold! What is your name? Am I the leader or are you the leader…”

All of a sudden a gigantic three horns purple centipede had descended onto the middle of the party, immediately taking the lives of three protégés by slicing them into halves with its sharp claws!

Lu Xiankai is startled. All the more startled because this is the Elder Myriad Centipede, which is a sixth grade demonic beast and even stronger than a typical Myriad Centipede!

Dozens of swords are immediately drawn against the Elder Myriad Centipede but their attacks bounced off harmlessly off its armored exoskeleton. In another split second, another three protégés are killed and a dozen are wounded as the monster rampaged among the party!

One of the celestial practitioners has readied a burst of sword energies but the sword energies simply bounced off the monster’s exoskeleton harmlessly. In the next instant, the same celestial practitioner has lost his head!

Lu Xiankai has quickly leapt onto the head of the Elder Myriad Centipede and had drawn up his wooden sword as he pierces it through its head. This act causes the Elder Myriad Centipede to shriek in pain and shakes uncontrollably, causing Lu Xiankai to fly off and hit against the wall!

He is actually not surprised by this result. The life force of the Elder Myriad Centipede is too strong and it cannot be killed off by ordinary means. Even if its head is cut off, the Elder Myriad Centipede will still be able to move. It is indeed an unimaginable monster to fight against.

He jumps to his feet again and shouts furiously, “Everyone that can still stand, run to the entrance now!”

And once again, he jumps onto the Elder Myriad Centipede.

By this time, everyone already knows how terrifying the Elder Myriad Centipede has been. Therefore when Lu Xiankai shouts for them to flee, everyone begins to scurry to the entrance!

Because Lu Xiankai had already broken his wooden sword, he uses his blue scabbard to stab the Elder Myriad Centipede again and again.

This further enrages the Elder Myriad Centipede as it tries to hit Lu Xiankai but he is too swift for it.

Finally when Lu Xiankai saw the last of the protégés have disappeared from sight, he draws upon his reserve celestial force that he has hosted within the blue scabbard. This immediately elevated his celestial divinity to an Immortal Celestial.

Gathering his blue celestial force, he slams into the Elder Myriad Centipede with his blue scabbard as he imbues his Dragon Spirit technique into it. This causes the Elder Myriad Centipede to immediately burst into blue flames.

In the next instant, he has jumped onto the head of the Elder Myriad Centipede again and slide off its three horns.

Lu Xiankai is particular sorrowful as he counts the number of dead; there are thirteen bodies. They have started off with 36 in their party and in just a few minutes, 1/3 of their party had fallen to the Elder Myriad Centipede.

When he has reached the entrance of the cave, the rest of the party are staring at him as they have noticed that he is carrying three gigantic horns in his arm.

“Is it even possible?”

He takes quick look at the survivors and is glad that Chu Hai, Ma Biao and Yuwen Feng are among the survivors.

He turns to stares coldly at Yin Tianxing as he threw the three large horns at his feet, “Your rashness has caused the deaths of 13 of our comrades. Their blood is in your hands.”

Yin Tianxing is bleary as he weeps aloud, “I…I’m sorry…”

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ACO 15

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Chapter 15: The Hunt

One month has passed quickly.

Lu Xiankai has picked up the twelve basic stances of the Ode Swordplay fairly quick. Yuwen Feng and Ma Biao have no issues as well. Chu Hai has some difficulties with his positioning and timing. Even though Ma Biao has been coaching him but it is still difficult for him.

Soon everyone in the team has gotten used to each other and their quirks. Occasionally Ma Biao would voice complaints against Lu Xiankai for his irritating woodcarving as he made one wooden sword after another.

Today seems like a normal day until Master Practitioner Longxi announced that they are all going to have a special trial, catching everyone by surprise.

“What special trial?”

Master Practitioner Longxi smiles mysteriously as he shouts. “Follow me!”

They are even joined by the other Master Practitioners and protégés of the other halls. It gets more and more mysterious as their three hundred group expands to a group of five hundred.

Beside Master Practitioner Longxi, there is Master Practitioner Wuxi and the other Master Practitioners of the other Halls. Even Enlighten Celestial Qiu Shengjun is presented with two other Enlighten Celestials. All in all, at least fifty celestial practitioners are also presented.

“Where are we going?”

“I have heard that we are going to the Thousands Stinging Swamp to take our trial.”

“What is that place?”

“What a horrible name…”

Indeed, they are marched to the Thousands Stinging Swamp, marching from morning to night. It is an impressive sight as five hundred protégés of the Honor Ode Clan marches together.

When they have reached, almost everyone is exhausted from the continuous marching.

Chu Hai is in daze and it looks like he is going to collapse but Ma Biao keeps him going.

Master Practitioner Longxi says to them, “You will be divided into nine groups. Each group will have seven to nine teams of 4 protégés each. The newer protégés will be in a bigger group because you are going to need all the support from each other. In each group, a medical practitioner team will be attached to support aid. Each group will also be led by a team of celestial practitioners.”

“Nightfall is the best time to hunt,” he continues. “You must be wondering what your quests will be, right? You are going to hunt for the horns of the Myriad Centipede, a fourth grade demonic beast in the Thousand Stinging Swamp.”

Almost everyone is gasping with shock. It is because not even a Master Practitioner will find a Myriad Centipede to be an easy foe. Moreover they are all juniors.

Master Practitioner Longxi adds coldly, “Expect no help from your masters. This is your trial. You may even die while undertaking this quest. But the good news is, if your group manages to take the horns of the Myriad Centipede and return, you will be automatically promoted as official protégés.”

He pauses awhile before adding, “You have but 3 days to complete the trial.”

Lu Xiankai thought, “The horns of the Myriad Centipede can be grinded into powder and made into healing potions and even poisons. It is a rare celestial ingredient. Slaying the Myriad Centipede won’t be easy for these juniors. It seems that the Honor Ode Clan is already preparing for the coming ascendant event of the immortal sword. Even First Young Master Xue Yizhong has been pushing himself hard to become a Golden Celestial.”

He ponders further, “At this stage, they are not willing to sacrifice their more experience protégés for this undertaking. But if they sent the juniors then it will be a good exposure to them and will quickly level them. But if they have really encountered the Myriad Centipedes, how many of them will survive the fight?”

Lu Xiankai and his team found themselves assigns to the first group. There are seven sword protégé teams, one medical practitioner team and even a team of celestial practitioners.

The celestial practitioners in their group are the future leaders of the clan so they gather the group and say, “We shall take the lead and the rest of you will follow us.”

Lu Xiankai notices that the four celestial protégés had joined the same time as them a month ago. As celestial protégés and practitioners, they are also Celestials.

“I am Yin Tianxing, the leader of the celestial team. And of course, I am also a Celestial.” The young celestial looks cocky as he smiles, “You lot won’t be able to defeat a Myriad Centipede, let alone hurting it for it is protected by its thick plated armor. We have to use celestial swordplay of course. Therefore we want the rest of you to support us as we preparing the celestial stances. Am I clear?”

Chu Hai and the rest of the group shouts excitedly, “We understand!”

Lu Xiankai sighs often, “This Yin Tianxing is using the rest of you as cannon fodders…”

Suddenly Lu Xiankai notices a maiden that stands among the medical practitioner team. She is the same maiden that has taken the initial test with them a month ago. In fact, several of the sword protégés are also looking at her because she is really an attractive maiden.

Yin Tianxing says, “We shall move ahead first and camp for the night. The other groups are already making their way into the Thousand Stinging Swamp. We have only 3 days to complete our mission.”

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