White Cloud Planet...
The lofty Spirit Cloud Peak poked through the ocean of clouds, with many green pines and wisterias growing freely on its steep cliff wall. Taller and longer, these vegetations stretched their bodies to absorb the copious amount of rain, dew, and sunlight. The wind blew ceaselessly through the green pines, bringing with them a faint mist as it cast many splendid rainbows on Spirit Cloud Peak.
Sitting on the trunk of an ancient pine tree, Princess Zhang Le had her skirt stuffed with pine nuts. She would pick one nut up at a time, break it open, then munch on it slowly. A few colorful sparrows were flying around her. Every now and then, they would come to her and snap one or two fragrant pines away. The ancient pine tree had its root buried deep in the cliff wall, and its trunk extended nearly eighty feet out. Sitting on its trunk, over ten thousand feet below Princess Zhang Le's feet was the ceaselessly rolling ocean of clouds, a seemingly bottomless abyss.
An endless amount of natural energy kept rushing into Princess Zhang Le's body. She did not meditate assiduously. Instead, by just sitting on a pine trunk and eating pine nuts, the natural energies would rush into her body at an incredible rate, transforming into her own energies. To gain a growth in her cultivation base that ordinary people could only obtain by spending several months in secluded meditation, she just had to sit on a tree and enjoy the magnificent scenery, cracking through some pine nuts, while her cultivation base would improve by itself. It did not require her to worry at all.
Sitting on the tree and watching the boundless ocean of cloud, Princess Zhang Le suddenly stretched herself and exhaled a long breath. Gently, she swung her legs and tilted her head as she stared at a herd of white cranes off in the distance, who had just broken through the ocean of clouds and soared high up into the sky. Her eyes flickered with a five-colored divine gleam. At that moment, the speed of natural energies rushing into her body became faster.
Princess Zhang Le chuckled. She grabbed a handful of pine nuts, throwing one at a time down into the ocean of clouds. "Heavenly Wit Fruit? Not bad, it tastes delicious! And the result is amazing too!" She murmured happily. With a good mood, she began to hum a little tune, while the five-colored gleam kept flickering in her eyes. Gradually, her body turned vague and nearly incorporeal, like an old photo placed behind frosted glass, too fuzzy and tough to have a clear look at her.
And so, in the middle of throwing pine nuts and enjoying the scenery, Princess Zhang Le had abruptly entered the enlightenment state that all cultivators were craving for. For ordinary cultivators, once they entered the enlightenment state, the profound knowledge of Heavenly Dao they gained in that brief moment could be comparable to several tens of years of arduous meditation. However, without going through several hundred years of laborious meditation, without fasting and bathing, having their mind completely calm down before entering the mediation, no ordinary cultivators would have the fate to enter an enlightenment state. But shockingly, in a nearly fooling and playful manner, Princess Zhang Le had entered such a miraculous state easily.
If there were some other cultivators around here, perhaps they could be coughing blood with anger on seeing Princess Zhang Le enter the enlightenment state as easy as cracking a pine nut, having their eyes turned green with envy. Most shockingly, while she entered the state of enlightenment and began to communicate with the mysterious and unfathomable Heavenly Dao, she was still humming that nameless tune!
As the gentle singing echoed across, the surrounding natural energies began to roll over. They wrapped around Princess Zhang Le, forming an extremely dense energy ball that measured several tens of feet in diameter. The few little sparrows that were previously circling Princess Zhang Le chirped joyfully, as the surrounding natural energies that suddenly turned denser had also channeled into their bodies. Instinctively, they felt that it was something that would bring them great benefits. Therefore, they kept chirping excitedly, and flew even more vigorously around Princess Zhang Le.
Faintly, some five-colored auspicious gleams shone from the energy ball, while the wind and clouds around Spirit Cloud Peak had changed their colors. Dark clouds that measured over one hundred miles in circumference pressed slowly down from above, almost touching the ocean of white clouds below. All of a sudden, countless silver lightning bolts that were as thick as fingers darted out from these dark clouds. They smote and ripped the white clouds to shreds, revealing the hills, rivers, cities, and villages far down below.
"Hehe!" One hour later, a joyful chuckle was heard. The dark clouds had faded away, the lightning bolts were completely gone, and the energy ball disintegrated abruptly, revealing Princess Zhang Le, whose skin seemed to have turned fairer and brighter. A five-colored divine ray flickered on her forehead, then a fist-sized Nascent Soul, its body fully emanating five-colored gleams and looking exactly like Princess Zhang Le, sprung out from between her brows while chuckling joyfully.
The Nascent Soul flew around Princess Zhang Le for a while, before plunging back into the top of her head.
Tilting her head, Princess Zhang Le pondered for a while. At last, she nodded and muttered with a smile, "Hmm, peak-stage Nascent Soul realm? I think so… Aye, they said that as long as I can form my Nascent Soul, I will be able to live forever, and stay young forever? Amazing! Zi Xuan doesn't want to become a withered old granny!"
Pulling the corners of her lips and putting up a funny face, Princess Zhang Le cracked open a few pine nuts and fed the sparrows around her. She laughed complacently. The gentle breeze carried her silver laughter into a far distance, onto a cliff wall several thousand feet away. It frightened a troop of white monkeys, who were searching for fruits amidst an Usnea bush on the cliff wall, causing them to nearly lose their grip and fall down into the abyss. The monkeys flew into a shameful rage, baring their teeth as they roared at Princess Zhang Le. Then, while swinging from wisteria to wisteria, they quickly went away.
Suddenly, a sword beam came shooting straight down from above. Bai Zhu'er was standing on top of it, and she cried out in a quick tone, "Your Highness, someone from Star picking City is here!"
Princess Zhang Le was taken aback. Without hesitation, she transformed into a five-colored bright beam and soared high up into the sky, wrapped around Bai Zhu'er, and flew straight towards the summit of Spirit Cloud Peak. Within just a blink, she had arrived at the summit with Bai Zhu'er, and landed on a flat field surrounded by pine trees, bamboos, and plum trees.
There were seven to eight little cottages built on this roughly one-acre wide flat field. A few little female Daoists clad in green clothes were seen reciting Daoist scriptures outside these cottages. They quickly rose to their feet upon seeing Princess Zhang Le arrived, addressing her 'Patriarch' with the utmost respect.
Princess Zhang Le waved her hand. Darting her eyes from left to right, she shouted, "Bai Zu'er, where are they? Who came from Star picking City?"
Three young girls clad in green outfits came to her with quick steps. Each of them had a dark-green mantle waving behind their back, with the image of swallows flying amidst wind and clouds embroidered on them. They fell on one knee before Princess Zhang Le and said lightly, "Your servants offer greetings, Your Highness. May peace be with Your Highness always!"
Princess Zhang Le gave them a look, then nodded and said, "Yan Xiaosan, Yan Xiaowu, Yan Xiaojiu, why are you here? What are the things so important that you can't even let your subordinates accomplish? What makes the three of you, the division leaders, to come all the way here?"
There were a total of ten division leaders that managed the team of three thousand lady officials in Star picking City. These three girls were among the ten of them, with each managing three hundred lady officials. They were the persons that were in charge of important departments in Star picking City, holding actual power in their hands. That was the reason why Princess Zhang Le felt so strange, wondering what matter could be so important that it made all three of them come here personally. Also, after they left Star picking City, what happened to the tasks they were supposed to handle?
The three girls rose to their feet, then Yan Xiaosan said with a deep voice, "Your Highness, we've received a secret message from His Majesty. Crown Prince was assaulted in Xue Yuan Planet, and he is severely wounded. His Majesty is requesting Your Highness to set out immediately for Dark Radiance Planet. There Your Highness will meet with Eunuch Ma Yi, and together, you will bring a team of men to rescue Crown Prince. It is an emergency. Your Highness, please set out at once." When she was done with the talking, Yan Xiaosan flipped her palm and produced a pale-green scroll and a green jade slip.
Princess Zhang Le gave Yan Xiaosan a look of astonishment. She picked up the scroll and spread it. It was an imperial decree, and judging from the handwriting, it was indeed from Yan Dan. The seal that was branded was the imperial seal that was only used when Great Yan Dynasty was announcing some very important decree. As for the jade slip, it was an imperial medallion from Great Yan's Imperial Palace, which was only given to someone who was executing a vital mission related to the imperial clan.
Both imperial decree and imperial medallion were complete!
Princess Zhang Le frowned. Staring at Yan Xiaosan, she said coldly, "His Majesty is requesting me to set out for Dark Radiance Planet and meet with Eunuch Ma Yi? Do you have any news relating to Duke of Tianyun?"
Yan Xiaosan bowed her head respectfully and answered, "Imperial Advisor Xiong did send a message back with a mystic technique. Duke of Tianyun had already met with Crown Prince in Xue Yuan Planet. However, as the enemy's overall strength is too powerful, Duke of Tianyun is severely wounded as well." she paused for a while, and then continued with a gloomy voice, "In order to rescue Crown Prince, Duke of Tianyun was jointly attacked by seven Nascent Soul cultivators. His Gold Core is seriously damaged, and perhaps he will lose all of his cultivation base."
"Ugh? Seven Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm?" Princess Zhang Le curiously stared at Yan Xiaosan.
Yan Xiaosan bowed slightly and answered, "Yes. According to the information sent back by Imperial Advisor Xiong..."
Before she could finish her words, Princess Zhang Le already gave her a heavy slap on the face. The slap ripped the skin and flesh from half of her face, while crushing her cheekbone and making it sink deeply. It was a fast and powerful slap. Although Yan Xiaosan's face was smashed to a mess, her neck and body did not move at all. All the force had focused only on her face, ripping and crushing her flesh and bones, sending them flying all over the place.
Yan Xiaosan was struck dumb by the slap. Her face was all numb, and she could not even feel any pain.
Standing right next to her, Yan Xiaowu and Yan Xiaojiu quickly responded. They shouted aloud at the same time, then two white beams suddenly came shooting out from under their sleeves, piercing through the air and coiling towards Princess Zhang Le. A divine gleam flickered in Princess Zhang Le's eyes, and she saw the white beams were actually two ropes, as thick as a human thumb, and with dark runes densely covering their surface. When the white beams were still several feet away, a coldness had already locked down on her.
Princess Zhang Le sneered. Abruptly a five-colored divine light burst out from behind her back, transforming into five sword beams and sweeping cleanly before her. She had used the Unity of Sword Energies Script to exercise her Prime divine ability, which allowed the five-colored sword beams to nearly transform into actual flying swords with corporeal shapes. Right when the white ropes touched the five-colored sword beams, they were sliced into pieces immediately.
Bai Zhu'er and Bai Zu'er were struck with great terror. Shouting together, they struck out with two sword beams that thrust straight towards Yan Xiaowu and Yan Xiaojiu.
A gust of chilly wind towered into the sky from a cottage. Tens of vague and incorporeal ghost figures shot out from the cottage, reaching before Yan Xiaosan and her company with just a twinkle. While Bai Zhu'er and Bai Zu'er's sword beams had just left them for three feet, the group of Ghost Immortals protecting Princess Zhang Le had already gained a tight control over Yan Xiaosan and her company. A few cracking noises were heard, as the three of them had their kneecaps smashed with powerful kicks, forcing them to drop to their knees while crying and howling with pain.
Princess Zhang Le snorted coldly. She retracted her sword beams and began to wave her little hand, giving the three lady officials kneeling before her a round of brutal slapping.
After slapping their faces into a complete mess and knocking their consciousness out, Princess Zhang Le raised her brows, sneered and said, "Send a message to Senior Sister Jiang Xin and Jiang Rui, asking them to accompany me back to Star picking City. Hmph! They can even copy Grandpa's handwriting? But too bad that you are wrong with one thing. In the letters and decrees my Grandfather and Father gave me, they always used their personal seal. They have never once used the imperial seal! You morons!"
Not long after two talismans were shot out from Spirit Cloud Peak, two of Immortal Bai Xia's disciples, Jiang Xin and Jiang Rui, who were both early-stage Nascent Divinity cultivators, arrived on white clouds. Princess Zhang Le cupped her fist and bowed at the two Senior Sisters gladly, then said politely, "Senior Sisters, please accompany Zi Xuan for a trip back to Myriad Immortals Planet. It is time to clean up some people in Star picking City!"
Fifteen minutes later, Princess Zhang Le brought a large team of people, including several hundred cultivators from White Cloud Immortal Sect, and arrived at Star picking City.Usnea is a genus of mostly pale grayish-green fruticose lichens that grow like leafless mini-shrubs or tassels anchored on bark or twigs.