"I miss him…" Yiren muttered unhappily, hugging onto Bella's stomach. "He is missing for so long… I want to hug him… I want to kiss him… Why didn't he come back yet…"
"Maybe we should search for him…?" Nuwa proposed, having the worst withdrawals from them all.
They didn't realize earlier how important was their daily closure with Xuefeng. Everyone got so used to sleeping together for the last three years that just two weeks was enough to destroy their minds.
"He said it's something important… But couldn't he come home to cuddle with us at night? He needs to sleep too…" Xiao Wen complained as well, laying on the bed with no will to stand up.
"Don't worry, I'm sure he will come back very soon," Bella assured, and coincidentally, Tianshi exclaimed right after.
"He is back!"
Just those words alone were enough to wake up everyone in the room, causing the girls to stand up abruptly and gaze at the balcony.
Someone landed, wings fluttered.
It was him!
He couldn't even finish his greeting as everyone cried out his name.
Before he could dodge, Xuefeng was already squeezed tight, surrounded by his wives.
"Whoa… What happened? Why so sudden?" Xuefeng questioned only to receive a set of upset gazes.
"You left us!"
"You come back for the night!"
"We were so lonely!"
All the complaints spilled together, drowning Xuefeng like a tsunami but he waited patiently for his turn to speak.
"Can I?" He asked when they finally finished grieving. "I'm sorry I couldn't be with you. I didn't sleep much the past two weeks to craft you all a special gift."
He pointed at the bracelet they gave him. "You presented me such a precious bracelet, so I wanted to craft something myself. I wanted to always be by your side, even when I'm not. I have been studying Artefact Crafting from Xiao Feng for the last two weeks and thankfully, I made it in time."
Xuefeng took a step back and bent his knee, pulling out a wide box from his ring.
Tianshi was the only one who covered her mouth, tears gathering at the corners of her eyes. She knew exactly what he was about to do.
"Tianshi, Nuwa, Yiren, Wuying, Wen, Shan, Wu, Lisa, Yi…" He spoke up their names from left to right with the brightest smile and opened the box, displaying two rows of golden rings with their names engraved on them.
"When I think of how my day would look without you, I cannot think of anything because I can't imagine one. It pained me greatly to leave you all for the last two weeks but I hope you can forgive me. Every moment with you is amazing and I am proud to be yours. Here, I present you the offer to make me the happiest man."
Xuefeng paused, observing their reactions before finishing.
"Will you marry me and allow me to spend the rest of my life with you?"
"Yes!" Tianshi cried out, throwing herself into his arms before kissing him deeply while holding his face with shaking hands. "I will marry you!"
She wasn't the only one that moved.
"Yes! Of course!" Xiao Wen and Wuying called out at the same time, quickly followed by the rest.
"Show me your hands then," Xuefeng called out and one by one, put the rings on their ring fingers, confessing his feelings, "I love you."
All of them felt his heartbeat and it was nowhere close to being calm.
"Not only can you feel my heartbeat but its also a Storage Ring you can use freely. Aside from that, all rings are connected, having a localization feature. Once we separate and get close to each other once again, they will vibrate. I couldn't split my soul into so many rings but hopefully, that is enough," Xuefeng introduced. "I don't plan to leave your side anyway."
"It's enough… I love it…" Yiren muttered ashamed as she rotated the ring on her finger. "I'm sorry I complained. You worked so hard to give us rings yet we only thought about ourselves and our desires…"
With Yiren's words, everyone realized how selfish they were just earlier.
"Hey, what's up with those sad faces? I thought it's time to celebrate?" Xuefeng questioned confused, and shrugged, walking past them to lay on the bed. "I guess no one wants to sleep with me today."
Sad expressions swiftly replaced with smiles as nine wives chased after her husband.
Bella who has been watching the whole scene smiled and walked out of the bedroom without saying anything, giving them the privacy they needed.
She didn't really understand the concept of having a lover or to depend on someone else but after the last two weeks, she understood one thing.
Having a lover does bring more happiness to everyday life. It even made her want one as well but unfortunately, it was impossible.
'To think there are no male Phoenixes… Should I explore outside of my race?' Bella wondered, walking inside her own bedroom with that one question in mind, having the whole night to contemplate.
"Is everyone ready?" Xuefeng questioned, gazing at everyone in the circle.
They all sat cross-legged in their bedroom and calmed their minds while preparing their bodies for a breakthrough. It was the last day Bella could stay in the Earth Realm, already repeatedly hurrying them to breakthrough.
After saying their last goodbyes, they couldn't stall any longer.
"Yes," the girls nodded firmly, everyone looking serious.
Ascending was never a joke. There was a reason why so many people failed to Ascend. For them, there was additional pressure. If they failed, they wouldn't be able to follow the rest, making them separate which was the worst possible outcome.
"Let your Fate Spirits help you merge your Dantian with your Soul. Don't be scared. Your Souls are much more durable than what you think," Ming explained the breakthrough and entered into Xuefeng's body, aiming to do exactly the same.
The rest girls who didn't have a Fate Spirit, successfully secured one after just one visit into the Fate Organization. It was hard to find only female Fate Spirits and a lot of blood spilled but now everyone had one.
"Let's do it. I believe in you," Xuefeng cheered them up and closed his eyes, proceeding with the breakthrough.
Everyone followed suit and the grand test began. All of them were at the peak of their stage with only one last step to complete.
Merging their Souls with their Dantian.
Bella watched them from the balcony, her hand pressing against her chest. She was calming down her body, trying to prolong her suppression but it seemed like she didn't have much time. She stayed outside in case she was forced to change back into her beast form.
Just five minutes later, Nuwa flew out first, joining Bella. Even the Celestial Stage Phoenix was surprised feeling the power bursting from Nuwa's body.
"Your Soul is really powerful," Bella praised.
Yiren and Lisa turned out to be the second to finish. Both had one of the best control over their Qi, one being the Master of Elements while the other a Master Alchemist.
One by one, the girls flew out until only Xuefeng was left inside the bedroom.
Nothing to be surprised about. He already mentioned he will wait for everyone to succeed before he starts.
The clouds already started gathering above their heads, signaling the arrival of the Heavens.
"Not good…" Bella suddenly muttered, only to be consumed by flames right after.
Her giant form of the colorful Phoenix forced itself out of the humanoid body.
"I couldn't stop it anymore. Hopefully, Xuefeng will be fast," Bella called out, hovering above the palace. "Heavens seems to be pissed."
Everyone followed her gaze at the clouds indeed seemed to gather much faster than usual, right above Bella.
"The Portal is opening!" Yiren pointed at the sky and soon they saw a massive door of light above them.
They anxiously shifted their gaze back to the Palace, worried about Xuefeng when they saw him, flying out at that very moment.
"Don't worry, I'm here," Xuefeng assured as he joined them.
"You almost scared us to death!" Tianshi scolded and grabbed his hand, pulling him up. "Let's go. We cannot wait any longer. Heaven's Chains will fall any minute if we don't hurry."
They didn't forget how Xuefeng almost died, hurt by the chains.
AdvertisementsXuefeng frowned and ordered swiftly, "Nuwa, cover the back! Everyone, stick together!"
They launched themselves to the sky and the Phoenix shot forward, entering through the Ascension door without hesitation. Drakos who has been sitting inside his Elemental Bracelet suddenly appeared next to them and with one swing of his wings, he caught up to Bella.
They smirked to that move, knowing the truth and followed, passing through the entrance as well.
Success! They ascended all together!
The passage was filled with white light but far in the distance, there was a small dot indicating the exit. Or rather, the entrance to the Heaven Realm.
Tianshi squeezed his hand excitedly.
"New adventure is right in front of us. I'm so happy to share it with you."
"Me too. No matter what we face, we should make the best out of it and enjoy every day," Xuefeng suggested.
Yiren suddenly flew up to him and grabbed his second hand, asking curiously, "Xuefeng, do you think I will get to meet a lot of new friends in that new Realm?"
"I'm sure of it."
"Wait! Something is not right…" Drakos suddenly called out, alarming everyone. "Look at the exit. We are not getting closer to it at all. How long do we have to fly there?"
"True… It's the same siz—" Xuefeng muttered but he didn't get to finish, his words cut by a sudden movement at the front.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
Multiple white chains shot out from the white light, heading straight at Bella.
"Watch out!" Xuefeng cried out in warning but Bella's reactions were faster, already dodging with a swift tilt of her body.
Too bad, that wasn't enough.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
Hundreds of Chains connected into a massive net, surrounding Bella from all sides. Even if she wanted to, there was nowhere to dodge.
"Ahh! Drakos!" Bella screamed for help as her body got dragged to a new exit created in the wall.
"Bella!" Drakos shouted back and followed after her, biting onto the chains to free her but the chains didn't budge.
He was dragged together with Bella and soon both of them disappeared, the exit closing right after they passed through.
"Fuck!" Xuefeng cursed, not understanding the logic. "What do you want?! We are moving to the exit! Why do you attack us?!"
'There needs to be an explanation! Heavenly Chains don't attack without reason!' Ming cried out in his mind, also clueless what was going on. 'Maybe Heavens wanted to punish Bella for breaking into Earth Realm?'
"What are we doing?" Nuwa called out, anxiousness clear on her face. "Should we push forward?"
They halted mid-air, but with what just happened, it wasn't the best solution. They needed to leave the passage as soon as possible.
"Let's move!" Xuefeng ordered, leading the charge.
'The Passage is not controlled by anyone. It had to be an automatic response to an offense. We should be fin— Watch out!' Ming explained only to cut her words short with another warning.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
Another series of chains shot out, all of them heading in their direction.
How could they fight them all?!
"Stick together!" Xuefeng yelled, gripping Tianshi's and Yiren's hands but the chains instantly broke their group apart, wiggling inside through the obvious gaps.
Yi's and Wuying's scream resounded through the passage, their bellies wrapped with chains and pulled back.
Momentarily, everything froze, moving in slow motion. A bit of hope awakened in Xuefeng's heart only to be crushed a second later when time returned to normal.
It didn't work!
Another two cries, this time from his left. Wen and Shan got caught by the chains, dragged away towards another exit.
They were gone.
Tianshi and Yiren instinctively hugged into his body. He couldn't throw them off to save others.
Save whoever he can!
That was the only thought in his mind.
Both his hands gripped the supports, Yiren and Tianshi while reaching out to Lisa with his legs, wrapping them around her stomach.
Even if the rest got separated, they could fight on their own. Those three couldn't. They were the priority.
"We will find you in Heaven Realm!" Nuwa cried out right before the chains got her too, grabbing her together with Wu. "Take care of Yiren!"
Another pair was gone.
"Hold onto me! We need to stay together!" Xuefeng ordered loudly, squeezing them as hard as he could when something pulled on Yiren's leg.
"Noooo!! I don't want to leave you!" Yiren cried, tears streaming down her face as she desperately held onto him, her only way to survive.
"I won't let you go!" Xuefeng promised determined and gazed at the new exit being created. "Let's enter it together!"
"Xuefeng! It caught my legs!"
Another chain, this time attacking Lisa.
Just as Xuefeng called out, something hard tightened above his stomach, breaking one bone after another.
Then it pulled him and Tianshi in the opposite direction.
"Nooo! Don't let go! Please!" Yiren begged, her body dragged away until only their arms were locked.
Lisa held onto his leg but she was sliding fast, unable to get enough grip.
Yiren's fingers disconnected.
Lisa's hands slipped.
He felt as if time stopped.
Yiren's crying face, Lisa's panicked expression.
Nuwa asked him to protect her yet he failed.
He couldn't stop it…
He couldn't save anyone…
No matter what he did, he couldn't win against Heaven's Will.
"I will find you!"
Even if his words didn't reach them, he will never rest until they are all back together.
------- END OF BOOK 1 -------
Book 1 ends but Xuefeng and his wives' adventures don't! Book 2 "Against Heaven's Will" is out now! It is a continuation of Spirit Cultivation, continuing Xuefeng's adventures in Heaven Realm! Please add it to the library and continue creating a magical story with me! We are not done yet!
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